Showing posts with label Pomegranate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pomegranate. Show all posts

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pomegranate-date cocktail a day keeps the doctor away

Pomegranate-date cocktail a day keeps the doctor away 

A team of researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, led by Professor Michael Aviram of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Rambam Medical Center, has discovered that the combination of pomegranate juice and dates along with their pits provide maximum protection against atherosclerosis (plaque buildup or hardening of the arteries), which can cause a heart attack or stroke. The findings were published in the most recent issue (March 26, 2015) ofFood & Function, a journal of The Royal Society of Chemistry.

A number of risk factors are involved in the development of atherosclerosis, including cholesterol oxidation, which leads to accumulation of lipids in the arterial wall. Natural antioxidants can slow down the oxidation process in the body, and serve to reduce the risk of heart attack. For the past 25 years, Prof. Aviram and his research team have been working on isolating and researching those antioxidants, in order to keep plaque buildup at bay.
Going into the most recent study, the team was aware of the individual benefits provided by pomegranates and dates. Pomegranate juice, rich in polyphenolic antioxidants (derived from plants), has been shown to most significantly reduce oxidative stress. Dates, which are rich sources of phenolic radical scavenger antioxidants, also inhibit the oxidation of LDL (the so-called "bad cholesterol") and stimulate the removal of cholesterol from lipid-laden arterial cells. Prof. Aviram had a hunch that since dates and pomegranate juice are composed of different phenolic antioxidants, the combination could thus prove more beneficial than the sum of its parts.
In a trial performed on arterial cells in culture, as well as in atherosclerotic mice, the Technion team found that the triple combination of pomegranate juice, date fruits and date pits did indeed provide maximum protection against the development of atherosclerosis because the combination reduced oxidative stress in the arterial wall by 33% and decreased arterial cholesterol content by 28%.
The researchers conclude that people at high risk for cardiovascular diseases, as well as healthy individuals, could benefit from consuming the combination of half a glass of pomegranate juice (4 ounces), together with 3 dates. Ideally, the pits should be ground up into a paste and eaten as well, but even without the pits, the combination is better than either fruit alone.

Ref :!divAbstract

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..

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pomegranates May Prevent Growth of Breast cancer cells.....

We know that Pomegranate aril juice provides about 16% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement per 100 ml serving, and is a good source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), potassium and antioxidant polyphenols.  The most abundant polyphenols in pomegranate juice are the hydrolyzable tannins called punicalagins which have free-radical scavenging properties in laboratory experiments. Punicalagins are absorbed into the human body and may have dietary value as antioxidants. Other phytochemicals include polyphenols catechins, gallocatechins, and anthocyanins such as prodelphinidins, delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin.   Many food and dietary supplement makers have found advantages of using pomegranate phenolic extracts as ingredients in their products instead of the juice. One of these extracts is ellagic acid which may become bioavailable only after parent molecule punicalagins are metabolized. However, ingested ellagic acid from pomegranate juice does not accumulate in the blood in significant quantities and is rapidly excreted. Accordingly, ellagic acid from pomegranate juice does not appear to be biologically important in vivo.

Now researchers lead by Dr Shiuan Chen, director of the Division of Tumour Cell Biology, and Dr Lynn Adams, a research fellow at the centre's Beckman Research Institute have found that Pomegranates contain a group of compounds called ellagitannins ( glucosidesof elligacic acid) may prevent the growth of breast cancer cells. Researchers tried to determine whether chemicals in pomegranates could block the action of an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase plays a key role in driving the growth of some forms of breast cancer by helping the body produce the female sex hormone oestrogen. Breast cancer drugs like anastrozole are designed to block its action.

The researchers screened ten ellagitannin-like compounds and found that one in particular, Urolithin B, (see above structure) significantly inhibited breast cancer cell growth in the laboratory. Its interesting to note that phytochemicals in pomegranates to exhibit this property (earlier the same authors have reported the inhibition of aromatase by grapes (phytochemicals).

Though further studies like in vivo are essential to further substantiate the in vitro studies (relatively high levels of ellagitannin compounds were required to demonstrate an anti-proliferative effect on cultured breast cancer cells) are essential (because of the fact that  the ellagitannins are not well absorbed into blood when provided in the diet), still in my opinion its a good finding......

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