From the article:
“Our study provides preliminary evidence suggesting potential protective effects for newborns exposed to pomegranate juice while in utero,” said senior author Terrie Inder
Polyphenols are known to cross the blood-brain barrier, and studies in animal models have demonstrated protective effects against neurodegenerative diseases. To date, no clinical studies had evaluated the potential effects of giving pregnant women pomegranate juice to protect the brains of at-risk newborns.
Women were randomized to receive 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily or a taste/calorie matched placebo that was polyphenol free. Women drank the juice daily from enrollment until delivery. The team measured several aspects of brain development and injury, including infant brain macrostructure, microstructural organization and functional connectivity.
While the team did not observe differences in brain macrostructure, they did find regional differences in white matter microstructure and functional connectivity.