It's unclear whether drinking pomegranate juice can lower cholesterol. But, it's thought that pomegranate juice could block or slow the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries when you have persistent, elevated levels of fats (lipids) in your blood and other risk factors associated with heart disease.
Like many fruit juices, pomegranate juice contains antioxidants, especially polyphenols. What's more, pomegranate juice contains antioxidants at higher levels than do other fruit juices. Antioxidants are thought to provide several heart-protecting benefits, including reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol.
Pomegranate juice is generally safe to drink if certain facts are first considered. If you choose to drink pomegranate juice, check the label to be sure that you're drinking pure pomegranate juice, and not a mixture of juices that contains added sugar. The sugar adds more calories to the juice, which reduces its heart-health benefits.
As you should do with any herbal or dietary supplement, talk to your doctor about pomegranate juice before you start drinking it regularly as a supplement. Pomegranate juice may cause dangerous side effects when it interacts with certain prescription medications, such as the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, including captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec) and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), and others.
Dec. 16, 2011
- Stowe CB. The effects of pomegranate juice consumption on blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2011;17:113.
- Basu A. Pomegranate juice: A heart-healthy fruit juice. Nutrition Reviews. 2009;67:49.
- Davidson MH, et al. Effects of consumption of pomegranate juice on carotid intima-media thickness in men and women at moderate risk for coronary heart disease. American Journal of Cardiology. 2009;104:936. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Komperda KE. Potential interaction between pomegranate juice and warfarin. Pharmacotherapy. 2009;29:1002.
- Pomegranate. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com.. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Behrenbeck T (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 6, 2011.