Showing posts with label β-Sitosterol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label β-Sitosterol. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pomegranate extract (β-Sitosterol) stimulates uterine contractions.........

In continuation of my update on pomegranate and its importance in the diet, I found this info interesting to share with...

Earlier studies have suggested that the pomegranate’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have a positive impact on health. Scientists at the University of Liverpool   and the Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, wanted to understand its effect on uterine contractions to explore new ways of treating women who may experience difficult labours.  Currently the only available drug to treat women with a poorly contracting uterus is oxytocin, a hormone which only works approximately 50% of the time,  so there is need of a good  drug.

The team identified   β-Sitosterol,   which inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine  (as the main constituent of pomegranate seed extract) could be used as a natural stimulant to encourage the uterus to contract during  labour.

        I would say this activity (stimulation of  uterine contractions) is an interesting out come from the research group, because β-Sitosterol has been (earlier) reported ;

a) in treatment of hypercholesterolemia;
b) to possess  anticancer activity (prostate & breast);
c) in a small study, it shows a positive effect on male hair loss in combination with Saw palmetto.

Researchers,  also found that β-Sitosterol concentration  is more in the  pomegranate seed extract  rather  than pomegranate juice itself  and by adding this seed extract to the uterus tissue samples from animals they found that the muscle cells increased their activity. 

The reason for this activity,  (as claimed by the researchers) is due to a rise in calcium, which is necessary in order for any muscle to contract (which is usually affected by hormones, nerve impulses and some drug treatments) . So further studies  like how β-Sitosterol  in pomegranate extract could increase calcium are essential and might lead to  an interesting step towards identifying new ways of treating dysfunctional labour ..more..