According to a clinical study released in The American Journal of Cardiology, a daily serving of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice may decrease the progression of arterial plaque in patients with elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study was intended to see if POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice may slow the progression of intima-media thickness of the carotid artery (CIMT) in patients with moderate coronary heart disease risk. At 18 months, there was no reduction in the progression of CIMT in the group as a whole. However, further analysis revealed an indication that the rate of CIMT progression slowed in nearly one third of patients, those with elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors. This study was funded by POM Wonderful.
Conducted at Radiant Research in Chicago, IL, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial involved 289 subjects at varying degrees of moderate heart disease risk who consumed 8 ounces per day of either POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice or a placebo beverage. The trial's endpoint was the increase in CIMT, a measurement which includes both the artery wall itself as well as accumulated plaque. CIMT measurements were recorded at both 12 and 18 months after the treatment began.
The composite measurement of CIMT showed a significantly smaller value at 12 months in the pomegranate juice group compared to the control group (0.79 vs 0.81 mm, p = 0.022), although this difference was no longer significant at the end of the treatment period (0.79 vs 0.80 mm, p = 0.168). The results from post hoc exploratory analyses, which should be interpreted with caution, suggest that rate of CIMT progression may have been slowed in high-risk subgroups. Specifically, the authors found statistically lower CIMT values within several subgroups of patients with elevated cardiovascular risk factors, including high total triglycerides as well as low HDL cholesterol as compared to total cholesterol and triglycerides.
"This study was initiated based on the compelling results from pre-clinical studies and an initial clinical trial," said lead researcher Michael H. Davidson, MD. "We are excited with the outcome of this larger study because while we did not see a reduction in the group as a whole, there is an indication that the rate of CIMT progression slowed in subgroups of patients characterized by more rapid CIMT progression."
In conclusion, the authors call for these preliminary findings to be investigated in future studies, because "consumption of pomegranate juice is very safe; thus demonstration of a benefit on atherosclerotic disease progression, even in a subset of the population, would have important public health implications."
The publication of this study is the most recent in series of studies evaluating the potential benefits of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice on human health. In 1998 POM Wonderful initiated a world class medical research program to investigate the Wonderful variety pomegranate. To date, POM Wonderful has funded $32 million in research, which has involved a number of top scientists from leading universities around the world, including a Nobel Laureate. So far, 48 total studies have been published in peer-review journals. Primary research areas have included the prostate and cardiovascular, among others.