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Pomegranate’s 10 benefits for men’s health

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Pomegranates

The pomegranate is one of the top foods for men’s health, and it is particularly beneficial for prostate and heart health. Filled with antioxidants, this fruit can help improve your sex life, properly balance your cholesterol levels and help your heart, prostate and brain health, among its many other benefits. It is an excellent food for aging men and is considered one of the best foods for men over 60.

The tangy, sweet pomegranate is tasty as a snack, or it can be sprinkled on salads and added to other dishes. You can get pomegranate juice year-round when fresh fruit is not available. If you find it challenging to cut through the fruit’s thick leathery rind, you can buy just the arils in stores. There are even pomegranate supplements if you just want the nutritional benefits of pomegranate but don’t want to consume the sugar that comes with the juice. However you decide to consume it, just find a way to get some of this amazing fruit, which is one of the top foods for men’s health, into your diet.

Even beyond its nutritional benefits, this fruit is legendary. In India, it is used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine and traditional remedies. Many world religions feature verses and imagery relating to the pomegranate. It is a symbol of life and death, birth and eternal life, fertility and marriage, as well as abundance and prosperity. To Jews, it represents righteousness. To Christians, it is life and hope of eternal life. In Chinese, Persian and Hindu cultures, it is a symbol of fertility. Whether you are a religious person or not, you have to agree that for a long time, people have seen the value in this richly colored fruit.

Here are 10 different pomegranate health benefits for men:

1. Helps Erectile Dysfunction

There is scientific evidence behind the reason pomegranates are a symbol of fertility. One study found that men who had mild to moderate erectile dysfunction experienced improvement after drinking pomegranate juice. Other studies on animals found the antioxidants in pomegranates improves erectile function over long-term use.

2. Fights Prostate And Lung Cancer

Many studies have shown that pomegranate extracts have the ability to slow the reproduction of prostate cancer cells and cause the cells to commit a type of cellular suicide, a process called apoptosis. The ellagitannins in pomegranates fight the growth of new blood vessels necessary for nourishing prostate cancer tumors. If you are concerned about your prostate health, you may also consider a top prostate supplement formulation. Pomegranates may also inhibit development of lung cancer.

3. Slows PSA Doubling

If you are watching your PSA (prostate specific antigen) level, you may be interested in the benefits of pomegranates. In studies, pomegranate juice has shown to help PSA levels. Researchers gave men with prostate cancer who were treated with radiation or surgery but had climbing PSA levels 8 ounces of pomegranate juice each day. Before drinking the juice, the men’s average PSA level doubled every 15 months. By the end of the study, it was taking 54 months for the PSA level to double. Intake of the juice was also associated with a 17 percent increase in cancer cell apoptosis, as well as a 12 percent decline in the spread of cancer cells.

4. Helps Arthritis Patients

Studies on pomegranates have shown benefits for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. A 2012 study demonstrated that pomegranate juice helps to prevent damage to cartilage in knee joints of animals with osteoarthritis. For rheumatoid arthritis patients, pomegranate extract reduces inflammation and joint damage. Another study found that the extract of pomegranate may help rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases by suppressing mast cells and basophils.

5. Lowers Blood Pressure And Cholesterol

Adults with high blood pressure who drink 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice every day can lower their systolic blood pressure by up to 5 percent. Several studies also show that pomegranate juice is useful in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and for preventing the buildup of plaque in arteries.

6. Improves Heart Health

In addition to pomegranate’s benefits in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, many studies show other ways this fruit is good for your heart. Both pomegranate juice and extract have the ability to inhibit platelet activity, which can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Patients with coronary heart disease were able to improve stress-induced myocardial ischemia by drinking pomegranate juice every day for three months.

7. Improves Recovery From Exercise

Drink pomegranate juice after your workouts. Research at University of Texas at Austin shows that taking supplements of ellagitannins from pomegranate extract can significantly improve isometric strength within two to three days of strenuous workouts.

8. Helps Brain Health

The polyphenols in pomegranate juice just might offer some protection from Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at Loma Linda University. They fed sugar water to one group of mice and pomegranate juice to another. The mice that drank pomegranate juice learned tasks more quickly than the sugar water group and had about 50 percent less accumulation of a protein believed to play a major role in developing Alzheimer’s disease.

9. Supports Immunity

Experts say that daily consumption of pomegranate extracts or juice can support your immune system’s antioxidants, antimalarial and antimicrobial capacities.

10. Reduces Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Pomegranate seed oil is associated with improving insulin sensitivity, according to a study on animals that suggests that it could reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also improve health for diabetic patients by reducing their risk for developing atherosclerosis.

Whether you prefer to eat it fresh, drink its juice or take a supplement, the pomegranate is a superfood that can help support your overall health. In addition to the 10 specific health benefits that pomegranate provides men, the fruit is also full of vitamins C, E and K, as well as fiber, potassium, folate and niacin.

 

References:

Albrecht M, et al. 2004 Pomegranate extracts potently suppress proliferation, xenograft growth, and invasion of human prostate cancer cells. J Medic Food 2004; 7:274-83

Aviram M et al. Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation and cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2002; 28(2-3): 49-62

Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001 Sep; 158(1):195-98

Azadzoi KM et al. Oxidative stress in arteriogenic erectile dysfunction: prophylactic role of antioxidants. J Urol 2005; 174:386-93

Forest CP et al. Efficacy and safety of pomegranate juice on improvement of erectile dysfunction in male patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study. Intl J Impot Res 2007; doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901570

Fuhrman B et al. Pomegranate juice inhibits oxidized LDL uptake and cholesterol biosynthesis in macrophages. J Nutr Biochem 2005; 16:570-76

Gasmi J, Sanderson JT. Growth inhibitory, antiandrogenic, and pro-apoptotic effects of punicic acid in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem 2010 Nov 10

Hadipour-Jahromy M, Mozaffari-Kermani R. Chondroprotective effects of pomegranate juice on monoiodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis of the knee joint of mice. Phytotherapy Res 2010 Feb; 24(2): 182-85

Hartman RE et al. Pomegranate juice decreases amyloid load and improves behavior in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Dis 2006 Dec; 24(3): 506-15

Kaplan M et al. Pomegranate juice supplementation to atherosclerotic mice reduces macrophage lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. J Nutr 2001; 131:2082-89

Khan N, et al. Pomegranate fruit extract inhibits prosurvival pathways in human A549 lung carcinoma cells and tumor growth in athymic nude mice. Carcinogenesis 2006 Aug 18

Mattiello T et al. Effects of pomegranate juice and extract polyphenols on platelet function. J Medicinal Med 2009; 12(2): 334-39 McFarlin BK et al. Pomegranate seed oil consumption during a period of high-fat feeding reduces weight gain and reduces type 2 diabetes risk in CD-1 mice. Br J Nutr 2008 de

Pantuck AJ, et al. Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2006; 12:4018-26

Reddy MK et al. Antioxidant, antimalarial and antimicrobial activities of tannin-rich fractions, ellagitannins and phenolic acids from Punica granatum L. Planta Medica 2007

Rettig MB, et al. Pomegranate extract inhibits androgen-independent prostate cancer growth through a nuclear factor-kappaB-dependent mechanism. Mol Cancer Therapeutics 2008; 7:2662 71

Rosenblat M et al. Anti-oxidative effects of pomegranate juice (PJ) consumption by diabetic patients on serum and on macrophages. Atherosclerosis 2006; 187:363-71

Rosenblat M et al. Consumption of polyphenolic-rich beverages (mostly pomegranate and black currant juices) by healthy subjects for a short term increased serum antioxidant status, and the serum’s ability to attenuate macrophage cholesterol accumulation. Food Function 2010; 1:99-109

Sartippour MR et al. Ellagitannin-rich pomegranate extract inhibits angiogenesis in prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo. Intl J Oncol 2008; 32:475-80

Seeram NP et al. In vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities of punicalagin, ellagic acid and a total pomegranate tannin extract are enhanced in combination with other polyphenols as found in pomegranate juice. J Nutr Biochem 2005 Jun; 16(6):360-67.

Shukla M et al. Consumption of hydrolysable tannins-rich pomegranate extract suppresses inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition 2008; 24:733-4

Sumner MD et al. Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol 2005; 96: 810-14

Trombold JR et al. Ellagitannin consumption improves strength recovery 2-3 d after eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2010; 42(3): 493-98

 

Dr. Geo Espinosa

is the Director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center and the Chief Science Officer at Prostate Research Labs. Before joining NYU, Dr. Espinosa was a clinician, researcher and director of clinical trials at the Center for Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a licensed naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist, a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Registered Herbalist. Dr. Espinosa is an author of the naturopathic entry in 1000 Cures for 200 Ailments (Harper Collins, March, 2007) and “Prostate Cancer — Nutrients that may slow its progression,” Food and Nutrients in Disease Management (Maryland: Cadmus Publishing, 2009). Dr. Espinosa also serves on the editorial board of the Natural Medicine Journal. Dr Geo is a frequent speaker at universities, medical schools and conferences on Integrative Health, nutrition and natural treatments for prostate disease. Read more on Dr. Geo.

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