Meeting News Coverage

Daily pomegranate juice consumption lowered BP

Society for Endocrinology BES 2011

People who drank pomegranate juice both before and after exercise experienced reductions in blood pressure as well as improvements in peroxidation levels associated with exercise-induced oxidative stress, according to data presented at the Society for Endocrinology BES 2011 meeting.

“Our study shows that pomegranate juice may have the potential to lower BP levels both at rest and following exercise,” researcher Emad Al-Dujaili, PhD, of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, said in a press release. “Whilst the effects that we found were slight, they do give us an insight into how pomegranate juice and the hormone cortisol can alter this system in the human body to give health improvements.”

Al-Dujaili and colleagues conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study sponsored by RJA Foods POMEGREAT. Twenty participants were randomly assigned to consume 500 mL of water or 500 mL of pomegranate juice containing 1,685 mg of total phenolics per liter daily. BP and urinary lipid peroxidation levels were measured before and after two 30-minute treadmill exercise sessions at baseline and 1 week after randomization.

Results revealed significant decreases in systolic BP among participants in the pomegranate juice group after 1 week, with pre-exercise levels declining from 141 mm Hg to 136.1 mm Hg (P=.03) and postexercise levels declining from 156.4 mm Hg to 149.5 mm Hg (P=.04). Diastolic BP also decreased in this group. Pre- and postexercise levels declined from 90.9 mm Hg to 87.1 mm Hg (P=.04) and from 102.6 mm Hg to 94.6 mm Hg (P=.05), respectively.

Additionally, data demonstrated a reduction in the ratio of cortisol to cortisone, from 1.81 to 0.82, in the urine in the pomegranate juice group. Urinary free cortisol also declined from 39.1 nmol to 26.4 nmol per 24 hours, while urinary free cortisone increased significantly from 28.1 nmol to 51.9 nmol per 24 hours.

Although the results are promising, Al-Dujaili acknowledged the study’s limitations and outlined future areas for research.

“Our study was only on a small number of healthy volunteers, so the next step is to see if pomegranate juice might have similar effects on people with high BP, a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” Al-Dujaili said. “We also want to look at whether pomegranate juice has an effect on other areas where glucocorticoids are known to play a part, such as BMI, fat distribution and insulin resistance.”

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Society for Endocrinology BES 2011

People who drank pomegranate juice both before and after exercise experienced reductions in blood pressure as well as improvements in peroxidation levels associated with exercise-induced oxidative stress, according to data presented at the Society for Endocrinology BES 2011 meeting.

“Our study shows that pomegranate juice may have the potential to lower BP levels both at rest and following exercise,” researcher Emad Al-Dujaili, PhD, of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, said in a press release. “Whilst the effects that we found were slight, they do give us an insight into how pomegranate juice and the hormone cortisol can alter this system in the human body to give health improvements.”

Al-Dujaili and colleagues conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study sponsored by RJA Foods POMEGREAT. Twenty participants were randomly assigned to consume 500 mL of water or 500 mL of pomegranate juice containing 1,685 mg of total phenolics per liter daily. BP and urinary lipid peroxidation levels were measured before and after two 30-minute treadmill exercise sessions at baseline and 1 week after randomization.

Results revealed significant decreases in systolic BP among participants in the pomegranate juice group after 1 week, with pre-exercise levels declining from 141 mm Hg to 136.1 mm Hg (P=.03) and postexercise levels declining from 156.4 mm Hg to 149.5 mm Hg (P=.04). Diastolic BP also decreased in this group. Pre- and postexercise levels declined from 90.9 mm Hg to 87.1 mm Hg (P=.04) and from 102.6 mm Hg to 94.6 mm Hg (P=.05), respectively.

Additionally, data demonstrated a reduction in the ratio of cortisol to cortisone, from 1.81 to 0.82, in the urine in the pomegranate juice group. Urinary free cortisol also declined from 39.1 nmol to 26.4 nmol per 24 hours, while urinary free cortisone increased significantly from 28.1 nmol to 51.9 nmol per 24 hours.

Although the results are promising, Al-Dujaili acknowledged the study’s limitations and outlined future areas for research.

“Our study was only on a small number of healthy volunteers, so the next step is to see if pomegranate juice might have similar effects on people with high BP, a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” Al-Dujaili said. “We also want to look at whether pomegranate juice has an effect on other areas where glucocorticoids are known to play a part, such as BMI, fat distribution and insulin resistance.”

For more information:

Twitter Follow EndocrineToday.com on Twitter.

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