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Pomegranate Juice and Emphysema



There is a great deal written about the protective effect of antioxidants these days. Because of high levels in fruits and juices their consumption tops the list of those with the most benefit. One fruit juice with an abundance of antioxidants is pomegranate juice (PJ). In the test tube pomegranate juice has over three times the antioxidant activity of red wine or tea.

The stress of oxidation plays a large role in the decline of lung function in people with emphysema. To evaluate whether the antioxidants in pomegranate juice are effective for patients with this high stress condition, scientists had two groups drink either PJ or a PJ flavored placebo for 5 weeks (Eur. Journ. Clin. Nutr. 2006; 60(2): 245 - 253). They then evaluated lung function as well as total antioxidants in the bloodstream.

No difference was found between those drinking juice and those using placebo. Not only were there no differences in lung function but there wasn’t a significant rise in antioxidants in the blood stream of participants. It appears that the most important of the antioxidants was processed in the intestine and never absorbed.

What this means for you

Pomegranate juice tastes good and the antioxidants in it may be effective for some conditions--but not for emphysema.

First posted: April 21, 2006