Common Names: Pomegranate
Latin Names: Punica granatum
- Pomegranate is a small, fruit-bearing tree native to Iran and northern India and cultivated around the world.
- Ancient writings described pomegranate as a sacred fruit that provided fertility, abundance, and luck.
- Preparations from pomegranate including the juice or extract have been promoted for prevention or treatment of many conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, cancer, and diabetes.
How Much Do We Know?
- We don’t have a lot of strong scientific evidence on the effects of pomegranate on people’s health.
What Have We Learned?
- The pomegranate fruit contains substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. However, the limited research that’s been completed so far has not shown benefits of pomegranate in preventing or treating heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cancer, diabetes, or other conditions.
What Do We Know About Safety?
- Pomegranate juice is believed to be safe. Pomegranate extract may also be safe. Pomegranate root, stem, and peel may not be safe when consumed in large amounts because they contain substances that can have harmful effects.
- Pomegranate usually doesn’t have side effects, but digestive tract symptoms, especially diarrhea, may occur in a small number of people. Allergic reactions to pomegranate have been reported.
- Little is known about whether it’s safe to use pomegranate extract during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Drinking pomegranate juice at these times may be safe.
Keep in Mind
- Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.
- Aziz Z, Huin WK, Hisham MDB, et al. Effects of pomegranate on lipid profiles: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2020;48:102236.
- Gbingie OA, Onakpoya IJ, Spencer EA. Evidence for the effectiveness of pomegranate supplementation for blood pressure management is weak: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Nutrition Research. 2017;46:38-48.
- Huang H, Liao D, Chen G, et al. Lack of efficacy of pomegranate supplementation for glucose management, insulin levels and sensitivity: evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition Journal. 2017;16(1):67.
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- Sharma P, McClees SF, Afaq F. Pomegranate for prevention and treatment of cancer: an update. Molecules. 2017;22(1):E177.
- Vlachojannis C, Erne P, Schoenenberger AW, et al. A critical evaluation of the clinical evidence for pomegranate preparations in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Phytotherapy Research. 2015;29(4):501-508.
- Vučić V, Grabež M, Trchounian A, et al. Composition and potential health benefits of pomegranate: a review. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2019;25(16):1817-1827.
- Wang P, Zhang Q, Hou H, et al. The effects of pomegranate supplementation on biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2020;49:102358.
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