Could Pom Juice Replace Your Blood Pressure Meds?

Research shows pomegranate acts like a class of drugs used to treat high blood pressure

PomegranateThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

Blood pressure tends to creep up as we get older until it seems like drugs are the only solution. That’s why you may be excited to learn that pomegranate acts like a class of drugs used to treat high blood pressure.

Pomegranate has the same action as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These drugs (such as Accupril and Vasotec) help lower blood pressure by blocking an enzyme in the body that is responsible for causing the blood vessels to narrow. If the blood vessels are relaxed, your blood pressure is lowered and more oxygen-rich blood can reach your heart. ACE inhibitors also lower the amount of salt and water in your body, which helps to lower your blood pressure.

In a study by Israeli researchers, pomegranate juice reduced the serum activity of ACE by approximately 36 percent.[1] The same researchers found that people with high blood pressure who drank about 2 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for a year reduced their systolic blood pressure by 5 percent to 21 percent.[2]

Other research on pomegranate has shown that it really can protect your heart and blood vessels. It can maintain blood flow to your heart even when you are under stress, reduce thickening of the carotid arteries in the neck and even improve erectile function. (No wonder the pomegranate is considered the fruit of love in many traditions!)

In these studies, 2-8 ounces a day of juice were consumed. At 20 calories an ounce, I think it’s worth every drop.

Pomegranate juice is a great addition to a blood-pressure-lowering DASH diet, and it may help you avoid ever having to take drugs. It offers the same benefits as the drug, plus lots more!

If you’re already taking an ACE inhibitor, you should talk to your doctor about making a switch to pomegranate juice. But if you’re counting calories, you may want to consider using a pomegranate extract. It has concentrated amounts of the same heart-protective polyphenols found in the juice.

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[1] Aviram M et al. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis. 2001;158:195-8.

[2] Aviram M et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr. 2004;23:423-33.

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7 Responses to Could Pom Juice Replace Your Blood Pressure Meds?

  1. Larry Franklin says:

    1. How does one buy this juice?
    2. What is the cost ?
    3. How much sugar content?

    • Emily Norris says:

      Hello Larry,

      Pomegranate juice can be found online, in health food stores and even in most grocery stores. A common brand is PomWonderful. It contains no added sugars, preservatives or colorants. Whatever brand you decide on, just make sure it’s 100 percent juice.

      Pom Wonderful has 150 calories per 8-ounce serving, and contains 31 grams of sugar. If you’re trying to avoid calories or sugar, it may be best for you to get the benefits of pomegranates in supplement form. If you’re looking for a high-quality pomegranate extract supplement, you could try this one from Stop Aging Now: http://www.stopagingnow.com/POM/Pomegranate-Extract?refer=peakhealth

      Additionally, supplements are the more economical choice, as pom juice usually costs about $9 per bottle (2 servings).

      Thanks for reading,
      Peak Health Advocate Editor

  2. John Harris says:

    It would have helped had you offered some reference level of the effects of prescription ACE inhibitors. Does a common strength prescription (we would need to know that too) also lower ACE levels by 36% or by perhaps much more or even less? Does a typical prescription lower systolic by 5 to 21%? While that sound pretty significant we need a comparative reference to know just how significant. Did the juice have no effect on diastolic pressure and how does that compare to prescriptions?

  3. Pomegranates are only available during fall thru early winter seasons.

  4. Do you have any advice as to what pomegranate extractors to use in place of the juice.

    • Emily Norris says:

      Hello Angelina,

      If you’re looking for a high-quality pomegranate extract supplement, you could try this one from Stop Aging Now: http://www.stopagingnow.com/POM/Pomegranate-Extract?refer=peakhealth

      All of their premium products are made in the United States in a state-of-the art FDA inspected facility to meet the stringent standards of US Pharmacopeia (USP) for quality, purity, potency and disintegration. Most supplements are made to far lower standards. Additionally, and unfortunately, many companies keep their costs down by outsourcing production to third-world countries where quality controls and regulations are virtually non-existent. Just be sure you know where the supplements you choose are manufactured. If the bottle label doesn’t say “Made in the USA,” they are most likely not.

      Thanks for reading,
      Peak Health Advocate Editor

  5. Johnny.w says:

    These juice promos, which includes cherry for joint problems, don’t mention that the juices’s hi sugar content may do more harm than the juice does good. Sorry, this is the truth.