In this article we cover:

  • Is it a coincidence that pomegranate when cut looks similar to the chambers of the heart?
  • Pomegranate significantly reduces arterial plaque, a key mechanism in heart disease
  • Pomegranate exerts multiple modes of action on multiple mechanisms that lead to heart disease

Pomegranates offer a real solution to the number one disease plaguing the Western world – heart disease; hence the reason they are often referred to as “The heart fruit”. It is more than just coincidence that the juice resembles blood and the pomegranate when cut open resembles the chambers of the heart; nature has sent us clues to the incredible therapeutic properties of this remarkable fruit. Fortunately for the skeptical, we have science to back up this poetic and intuitive idea of the “doctrine of signatures”.

When you drink pomegranate juice, you experience an astringency, which gives a cleansing effect feeling. You may be asking what do the mouth and heart have in common? As it turns out, the same epithelial cells that line the arteries of the heart and the whole circulatory system are the same cells that line the mouth. So it is not difficult to appreciate the cleansing power pomegranate has on the cells lining the heart arteries especially when you consider the remarkable study (1) in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition that measured 10 patients with existing arteriosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) before and after one year consuming pomegranate juice. The results were staggering where the pomegranate group reduced the arterial plaque by an incredible 30%, while the placebo group increased their arterial plaque by 9%. This basically translates to a 39% improvement in arterial plaque in one year for the pomegranate juice consuming group.

Please note that pomegranate extract contains much higher amounts of bioactive compounds e.g. punicalagins that make it much more potent for all round health and skin.

A real solution to the number one disease plaguing the Western world - heart disease

Additional benefits observed in the study include:

  • 130% increase in antioxidant capacity
  • 59% reduction in oxidised cholesterol(oxLDL); oxidised or damaged cholesterol is a more accurate predictor of arteriosclerosis and associated heart attacks compared to LDL cholesterol
  • 21% reduction in systolic blood pressure

In fact the therapeutic properties of pomegranate extract (POMx) have been studied in many heart related issues, but to highlight just a few more: 

  • POMx exhibits blood pressure lowering abilities attributed to preventing the over-expression of the angiotensin converting enzyme (2)
  • POMx increases nitric oxide production in the endothelial cells lining the heart; this allows the blood vessels to dilate more, thus improving blood flow and reversing any endothelial dysfunction (3)
  • POMx has potent antimicrobial properties, and surprising fact is that infections can lead to arterial plaque and subsequent heart disease, often initiated through dental treatments. Pomegranate is anti microbial including anti-viral and antibacterial; both pathogens have been known to harbour in arterial plaque.(4) Incidentally pomegranate also prevents the buildup of dental plaque, thus preventing cavities
  • POMx reduces oxidised cholesterol (oxLDL), which is a subtype of LDL cholesterol that has been damaged when it comes into contact with damaged arteries from oxidative stress,free radicals and inflammation (5). In an attempt to repair the arterial damage,the LDL cholesterol becomes oxidised leading to the formation of arterial plaque, and a higher risk of heart disease. Please note statins are a health disaster with over 300 conditions attributed to statin use and do not improve outcomes for heart disease and stroke (6)
  • POMx reduces arterial plaque by 36% in one year and that includes the carotid arteries that supply the brain with blood, helping to prevent or reduce risk of stroke as well as heart attack (7)
  • POMx alters the composition of the arterial plaque making it less prone to inducing heart disease
  • POMx shows anti-platelet activity, helping to prevent excess clotting or platelet aggregation of blood, thus helping to avoid clots either in the heart or the brain (8)

Nature has bestowed on us the gift of pomegranate, highly regarded as having unique properties, from both a general health and heart health standpoint. Further glycine exerts its own complementary effects on protecting the heart from assaults by showing anti-inflammatory, cell protective and platelet stabilising attributes (9). Furthermore, glycine demonstrates blood thinning capabilities similar to aspirin minus the side effects, resulting in reduced platelet aggregation, increased bleed time, improved microcirculation, and reduced inflammation (10). Researchers in 2012 concluded that glycine should be of significant benefit in preventing conditions where increased clotting and thrombosis are implicated.