IT CAN help prevent cancer, is good for your heart and can even
boost your sex life.
If that wasn't enough to tempt you to drink some, it is now
claimed that pomegranate juice can also help shift middle-age
Scientists believe that the superfood has the power to reduce the
fat stored round the stomach - the 'spare tyre' in men, or 'muffin
top' in women.
After just one month, volunteers who consumed a bottle of
pomegranate juice every day were found to be less likely to develop
fatty cells around their abdomen.
They also had much lower blood pressure, therefore reducing their
risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease. The researchers
from the University of Edinburgh believe pomegrate juice may lower
the amount of fatty acid in the blood, known as nonesterified fatty
acid or NEFA.
Previous studies in humans and animals have shown that high NEFA
levels are linked to a greater storage of fat around the abdomen, as
well as an increased risk of heart disease and type II diabetes.
In the experiment, 24 men and women were given a 500ml bottle of
pomegranate juice to drink every day for four weeks.
The researchers found that nearly half of all volunteers had much
lower NEFA levels by the end of the trial. They believe that this
will make them less likely to store fat around their stomach.
In addition, more than 90 per cent of the men and women had lower
blood pressure by the end of the month.
Dr Emad Aldujaili and Dr Catherine Tsang, lead researchers at
Edinburgh University's School of Health Sciences said: 'There is no
doubt that pomegranate juice is beneficial in reducing the risk of
cardiovascular disease because our results showed a significant and
consistent lowering of blood pressure.' Dr Aldujaili added: 'There
is early evidence that consumption of pomegranate juice may
influence abdominal fat. 'We believe that these initial findings
deserve more detailed study. The subjects in our latest study had a
healthy body mass index, making the impact more difficult to
'In future research we will investigate the effect on overweight
or obese subjects in whom the effect may be more evident.' Dr
Aldujaili will present his findings at the International Functional
Food meeting at Oxford Brookes University next month.
It is already known that pomegranate juice is high in
antioxidants, chemicals which help to neutralise harmful oxygen
molecules called free radicals.
If left unchecked, these molecules can damage cells causing
illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and resulting in the body
aging more quickly.
The fruit is also thought to enhance the sex life, as the
antioxidants increase the amount of blood flowing to the genitals.