November 22, 2010

Pomegranate Juice Does a Body Good

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Kidney patients on dialysis may have an effective and delicious aid for infection and other difficulties.  Pomegranate juice has been known to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and provide a rich amount of antioxidants, but a new study finds that it can also reduce kidney disease complications.

Researchers at the Western Galilee Hospital, the Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Haifa gave either pomegranate juice or a placebo drink to 101 dialysis patients at the start of every dialysis session, three times a week for a year.

The patients given pomegranate juice showed a reduced inflammation and a less damage from the free radicals produced by oxidative stress.  Their likelihood of hospitalization was significantly decreased as well.

Other data from previous studies pointed to other health benefits, such as a lowered amount of cardiovascular risk factors.  Blood pressure, lipid profile and the number of reported cardiovascular episodes were improved in pomegranate juice drinkers.  Since most chronic kidney disease (CKD) mortalities result from cardiovascular complications, these results are especially hopeful.

The authors of the study report that a monitored quantity of pomegranate juice, given with a safe amount of potassium, can significantly reduce the complications associated with dialysis patients.  However, potassium overload needs to be considered for CKD patients who are put on a dietary restriction of potassium.

"Considering the expected epidemic of CKD in the next decade, further clinical trials using pomegranate juice aimed at reducing the high cardiovascular morbidity of CKD patients and their deterioration to end-stage renal disease should be conducted," lead researcher Batya Kristal, MD, FASN was reported as saying.

SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology, November 2010