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Pomegranate Juice Reduces Damage to Tissues, Inflammation and Infections, Study Suggests

A new study described in a paper to be presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Denver, CO suggests that pomegranate juice can help prevent infections and other complications in patients undergoing dialysis. These complications can be as serious as to be life-threatening, and account for a high morbidity rate among dialysis patients.

In a study run by Batya Kristal, MD, FASN (Western Galilee Hospital, in Nahariya, Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel), PhD candidate, Lilach Shema, and other colleagues, about 100 dialysis patients received either pomegranate juice or a placebo three times a week at the start of their dialysis sessions for one year.

Tests found that those patients who were given pomegranate juice suffered less inflammation and less free-radical induced oxidative stress. They also experienced fewer infections and thus fewer hospitalizations. This confirms previous studies suggesting that pomegranate juice contains effective anti-oxidants.

Other recent investigations have shown that drinking pomegranate juice can improve high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors, leading to fewer cardiovascular events. Similar results have been found in other at-risk groups, but it has additional importance for kidney disease patients because they usually die from infections or cardiovascular reasons.

Dr. Kristal said, “Considering the expected epidemic of CKD in the next decade, further clinical trials using pomegranate juice aimed at reducing the high cardiovascular morbidity of CKD patients and their deterioration to end-stage renal disease should be conducted.”

The researchers also suggest that drinking pomegranate juice (with carefully regulated potassium content, since potassium levels must be controlled, especially in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.

Study co-authors include Ronit Geron, MD, Galina Shapiro, Shifra Sela, PhD (Western Galilee Hospital), and Liora Ore (University of Haifa).

The study was supported by the Chief Scientist Office of the Ministry of Health, Israel; Jess & Midred Fisher Family Cardiology Research Fund, and the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, Technion, Israel.

“One Year of Pomegranate Juice Consumption Decreases Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Incidence of Infections in Hemodialysis Patients,” [TH-FC059] will be presented as an oral presentation on November 18, 2010 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.

Story Source: ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2010) —

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