(By Sydney Hornby, M.D, Livestrong) Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, ranked pomegranate juice as the world’s healthiest juice in 2008. However, though pomegranate juice is indeed filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, evidence is lacking that it helps lower blood pressure. Some studies confirm that pomegranate juice is beneficial, while others have proven inconclusive. Continue drinking pomegranate juice if you enjoy the taste and desire the nutrition but do not rely on its alleged ability to help lower your blood pressure.
About High Blood Pressure
Hypertension was the primary or secondary cause of death for 326,000 Americans in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Hypertension places you at higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Most positive research on pomegranate juice indicates that it may affect systolic pressure but not diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure measures the actual force of your heart pumping blood, while diastolic pressure measures the force of blood against your arterial walls.
Research on Pomegranate Juice
In a study at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, 10 participants drinking 500 ml of pomengranate juice every day for a week had consistently lower systolic blood pressure before and after exercising for 30 minutes, when compared to a control group. Though these results are promising, the study used a very small population size, meaning additional studies are needed with larger participant groups.
Antioxidants in Pomegranate Juice
One reason why UCLA bestowed the healthiest juice title to pomegranate juice is the quantity of polyphenols it contains. Polyphenols are antioxidants found in plant-based products. Antioxidants help protect your body from environmental damage and chronic disease. Pomegranate polyphenols may help ward off heart disease and reduce systolic blood pressure, according to the January 2009 “Nutrition Reviews.”