Pomegranate juice, dates said to reduce risk of heart attacks

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Researchers have revealed through a new research that a four-ounce glass of pomegranate juice with three dates could protect against buildup of lipids on the arterial walls by as much as 33 per cent thereby reducing chances for a heart attack.

Published in the journal Food & Function, the study pegs hydrolysable tannin polyphenols in pomegranate and phenolic acids in date fruit and seeds as potent antioxidants and anti-atherogenic agents. According to lead author Professor Michael Aviram. the key ingredients in pomegranate juice are plant-derived polyphenolic antioxidants that slow the body’s oxidation process, thereby reducing oxidative stress.

Dates contain phenolic radical scavenger antioxidants, which hinder the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LCL) cholesterol, also known as “bad-cholesterol.”

The researcher added that the scavenger antioxidants found in dates also stimulate the removal of cholesterol from arterial cells that come into contact with lipids.

Consumption of the combination also significantly reduced mouse peritoneal macrophage (MPM) oxidative stress, MPM cholesterol content, and MPM LDL uptake. Finally, the lipid peroxide content in the aortas of the mice significantly decreased, and the PON lactonase activity of the aortas increased after treatment with the combination, the researchers add.

According to the tests on mice whose cholesterol levels were high, Professor Aviram’s team found that the cocktail of pomegranate juice and dates reduced oxidative stress in the arterial wall by as much as 33 per cent and decreased arterial cholesterol content by 28 per cent.

The team says that the combination of dates and pomegranate is powerful and preferable to eating either fruit alone. Pomegranate juice has long been hailed for its high antioxidant component and health benefits.

Pomegranate juice has long been hailed for its high antioxidant component and health benefits. Back in 2010 researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), identified components in pomegranate juice that seem to inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that has been shown to promote the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone.