Brushing your teeth becomes difficult. Putting the cap back on your shampoo bottle is a task on its own. Holding a cup of tea is a challenge… These are just some of the difficulties millions of people suffering from arthritis face every single day, let alone the constant aching pain they endure.
Now, research offers new hope to arthritis sufferers and it turns out that the answer to relieving arthritis pain may be as simple as eating more pomegranates.
Previous animal studies have shown that pomegranate extract has the potential to help reduce the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in mice. However, more recently researchers investigated whether pomegranates could have the same effects in human patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and the results were quite positive.
This latest study, published in the Israeli Medical Association Journal, included eight patients who were given 10ml of pomegranate extract per day for 12 weeks.
The researchers assessed the participants’ joint status and serum oxidative status (indicators of the severity and progression of arthritis) at the beginning and end of the study.
The results showed that patients experienced a reduction in their disease activity index (DAS28) by 17 per cent, a reduction of their tender joint count by 62 per cent and their serum oxidative status was also reduced significantly.
In layman’s terms this means that the participants not only experienced a reduction in their arthritis symptoms, but that the inflammation causing their symptoms was also brought under control.
This is not the first time that the healing powers of pomegranate have come under the spotlight. Previously, we’ve told you how pomegranate extract can help combat gum disease and erectile dysfunction. It also helps to reduce the hardening of arteries, improve overall heart health and is effective in lowering blood pressure.
The primary source of pomegranate’s benefits is its antioxidant content, particularly ellagitannin compounds like punicalagins and punicalins, which accounts for about half of the pomegranate’s antioxidant ability. According to a 2008 study, which compared the potency of 10 different polyphenol-rich beverages, pomegranate juice scored top billing as the most healthful of them all.
In fact, pomegranate juice was found to be at least 20 per cent more potent than any of the other beverages tested, beating Concord grape juice, acai, and blueberry juice – three well-known sources of potent antioxidants.
But before you stock up on pomegranate fruit juice, here’s a word of caution: Fruit juices are laden with fructose. A 250ml glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice can contain as much as eight full teaspoons of sugar, and that’s not going to help your arthritis ?¦
Yes, the fructose in fruit is one of the most natural forms of sugar you’ll find on the planet, but just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless… especially when fruits are juiced.
That’s because your body processes fructose as pure sugar when it is consumed without the fibre found in fruit. It turns the fructose into fat and that fat is stored around your waistline… and that’s just the beginning of your problems – weight gain, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol can all soon follow.
The best way to cash-in on the antioxidant power and arthritis-relieving benefits of pomegranates is to either eat the whole fruit (without the bitter white bits) or to invest in a high quality pomegranate extract supplement.
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A Godsend for Arthritis Sufferers – May Reduce Pain by a Whopping 62%, published online, 09.11.11, articles.mercola.com/
Arthritis: The Healing Power of Pomegranates, published online 04.10.15, newsmax.com