Pomegranate Extract as an Anti-Inflammatory

Pomegranate extract might be a natural anti-inflammatory, according to a recent study. An oral consumption of pomegranate extract was seen to decrease the numbers of certain chemicals that are known to cause inflammation.

The following study is not the first to suggest pomegranate extract as an anti-inflammatory, and in fact it is already in use as an “alternative medicine” treatment for arthritis.

Pomegranates are known to have high levels of antioxidants, which in many cases have been shown to have “anti-inflammatory actions.” Tests on human tissues appear to have confirmed this connection between antioxidants and anti-inflammation, but its application to the full body system of a human being at this point is speculative.

The study was performed by orally feeding rabbits pomegranate extract, which was the equivalent of approximately 175 millilitres of pomegranate juice. The level of antioxidants in the blood of the rabbits was measured before and after the pomegranate extract ingestion.

The results showed that antioxidant levels were much higher after the pomegranate extract consumption. More significantly, “the extract also significantly reduced the activity of proteins that cause inflammation, specifically cyclooxygenase-2. It also reduced the production of pro-inflammatory compounds produced by cells isolated from cartilage.”

Observation of a decrease in inflammation in a live body (the rabbits) caused by higher antioxidant levels is a significant finding, and more specifically gives credence to the use of pomegranate extract in treating these often chronic conditions. While the results are not conclusive, and follow up research needs to be done of human subjects, as study leader Tariq Haqqi says, “the use of dietary nutrients or drugs based on them as an adjunct in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions may benefit patients.” A natural medication, such as pomegranate extract, usually has considerably less side effects than traditional drugs.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Haqqi, Tariq. Webber, Charlotte. Journal of Inflammation news release. June 2008.