POMEGRANATE (Punica granatum)

While Acai Berry has the greatest antioxidant power of the superfruits, Pomegranate comes in at #2. Given its rich history and the many clinical studies that have been conducted on Pomegranate, it is notable for the findings of potential health benefits. Remember, clinical studies are one of the major criteria in the decision to award superfruit status to a fruit.

POMEGRANATE – NUTRITIONAL & ANTIOXIDANT BENEFITS

Pomegranate provides:

  1. 16% of the adult daily Vitamin C requirement per 100 ml serving.
  2. Pomegranate is also a rich source of the Vitamin B-5 (panthothenic acid), potassium, and antioxidant polyphenols.

POMEGRANATE – BENEFITS THAT HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH IT

* arthritis – cartilage protection
* reduction of oxidative stress
* a source of Vitamin B-5 (an essential vitamin, Pantothenic Acid)
* improved cellular respiration
* a source of Potassium for enhanced electrolyte and fluid balance
* improved muscle contraction and nerve impulses
* lower systolic blood pressure
* cardiovascular benefits
* addresses some liver problems
* improved wound healing

POMEGRANATE AS AN ANTIOXIDANT

In a wide range of clinical studies spanning nearly twenty (20) years, researchers have found that the most plentiful of the antioxidants found in Pomegranate are hydrolyzable tannins (punicalagins). They possess very potent abilities to rid your body of free radicals. In fact, these studies have found that after ingesting Pomegranate extract standardized to punicalagins showed an average of 32-33% in blood plasma antioxidant capacity.

Although Acai is about 60% more powerful as an antioxidant than Pomegranate, there are differences in what Pomegranate offers you.

The antioxidant found in Pomegranate is Punicalagins. Punicalagins are tannins, which are large polyphenol compounds. The Punicalagins hydrolyze into smaller polyphenols such as ellagic acid.

POLYPHENOLS

The greatest concentration of polyphenols found in Pomegranate are the hydrozyable tannins which are called punicalagins. Much like Acai, Pomegranate is a rich source of the antioxidant power of polyphenols.

The IL-1b protein molecules cause an overproduction of inflammatory molecules that includes matrix metalloproteases (MMP), which are enzymes essential to tissue remodeling. When these inflammatory molecules are manufactured in the presence of osteoarthritis, they further degrade the cartilage matrix, which causes joint damage and destruction. At least one clinical study has concluded that Pomegranate fruit extract may assist in protecting cartilage from the adverse effect of IL-1b and the suppression of cartilage degradation.

VITAMIN C – AS AN ANTIOXIDANT

Vitamin C is a highly-effective antioxiant and it lowers oxidative stress. As noted in our section on Acai, oxidative stress has been directly tied to a large number of diseases. Additionally, it is also an enzyme cofactor for the biosynthesis of other important biochemicals.

Vitamin C is an essential part of life. Interestingly, most animals and plants can synthesize their own Vitamin C; humans are unable to.

VITAMIN C - RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCES

There are some differences in what has been reported as recommended daily allowances of Vitamin C as it relates to health in humans. For those who are pregnant, smokers, or live a stressful lifestyle, more is required.

The U.S. government has set the following USRDA. (U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances) for Vitamin C:

Male (adult)                90 mg
Female (adult)             75 mg

The upper level tolerance levels are:

Male (adult)                2,000 mg
Female (adult)             2,000 mg

WHY ARE HIGHER DOSES RECOMMENDED?

Despite the fact that there is no conclusive evidence to support this, there are some advocates of using Vitamin C in larger doses. The most notable advocate of higher doses of Vitamin C is Linus Pauling, who has twice been name as a Nobel Prize laureate.

Studies are finding that Vitamin C has the potential to reduce cardiovascular risk and reduce damage following a heart attack. Other possible benefits of Vitamin C include:

  • Enhanced immune function
  • Improved collagen synthesis
  • Detoxification
  • Increased longevity

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