Pomegranate

Pomegranates have been used as medicine for thousands of years. More recently, they have been called a "superfood" that can protect against disease. In laboratory tests, pomegranate shows antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. But more research is needed to determine whether it can help prevent or treat illness in humans. In addition, there is some concern that pomegranate juice might interact with medications, much like grapefruit juice does, making certain medications less effective.

Pomegranate fruit extract is a rich source of polyphenols, chemicals in plants that provide their flavor and color. Polyphenols are also antioxidants, meaning they help protect cells from damage and may lower inflammation in the body. Pomegranate fruit is also high in vitamin C. One pomegranate provides about 40% of the daily requirement of this vitamin.

The bark, fruit, root, and rind of the pomegranate tree are used as medicine in Asia and the Middle East. In the West, the fruit and its juice are usually the parts being studied. The juice and rind have antioxidant properties, while the juice, rind, and oil from seeds contain isoflavones similar to the ones in soy.

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Review Date: 2/2/2016  

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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