Is Pomegranate Uniquely Suited for Type 2 Diabetes?


A new study suggests that pomegranate juice can lower blood sugar, but this isn't the first study on pomegranates for diabetes.

Although pomegranates contain sugar, they may also contain compounds that help to control blood sugar. The theory is supported most recently by a study at Jordan University on pomegranate juice and type 2 diabetics.

When researchers assigned 85 type 2 diabetics to a one-time serving of pomegranate juice (1.5 ml/kg of bodyweight), they measured for changes in certain diabetes factors one hour and three hours after consumption. At three hours, subjects on average exhibited reduced insulin resistance and reduced blood sugar-an effect that appeared to decrease with age. Although 21% of participants did not have these responses, the association still held up on average.

“Although pomegranate juice contains a significant amount of sugar, these sugars may not exacerbate type 2 diabetes variables,” said the researchers in their study, now published in Nutrition Research. “In fact, such findings are contrary to what has been noted with other fruit juices (i.e., grape juice).”

A variety of previous studies have looked at pomegranate for diabetes relief, but these studies were not limited to juice. The seed oil, flowers, and peels of pomegranates have earned just as much interest. In the case of pomegranate juice, researchers argue that larger trials are needed, perhaps on higher juice doses.

Pomegranates contain a number of compounds that may have hypoglycemic potential. These include punicic acid, punicalagin, ellagic acid, gallic acid, and still other compounds of interest.

Robby Gardner
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook magazine

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