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Pomegranates are a type of fruit that is claimed to be beneficial for various medical conditions. The fruit contains several medicinal components that may help to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis, as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Although pomegranates are a fruit, they may still cause side effects (such as allergic reactions) in some people. Before taking them medicinally, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider.
What Is Pomegranate?The pomegranate is an unusual fruit that has recently received much attention. It is claimed to be useful for preventing or treating a variety of different medical conditions. People usually eat the seeds or drink the juice, although extracts and supplements are also available.
(Click Pomegranate Health Benefits for more information on the potential benefits of this fruit.)
How Does Pomegranate Work?The fruit contains a variety of medicinally active components. One of these components is polyphenol, which has antioxidant activity. In fact, the fruit's juice contains more polyphenols than red wine. As antioxidants, polyphenols have several beneficial effects in the body, including slowing down the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It is thought that polyphenols may also reduce the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver.
The fruit can also increase the production of nitric oxide in the blood vessels. Nitric oxide can help to lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. Pomegranates may also work like ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors), a group of prescription high blood pressure medications that help to relax the blood vessels.
The seeds of the fruit may contain several estrogen-like substances. However, it is not known exactly how these substances affect the body.