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Pomegranate juice reduces symptoms associated with the narrowing of arteries that supply the brain, a small study has found. Patients who drank pomegranate juice for one year experienced improvements in blood pressure, antioxidant status, and carotid artery thickness (an indicator of the extent of plaque buildup in the arteries).

The study involved 19 people who had atherosclerosis with carotid artery stenosis, a condition in which the arteries that supply the brain thicken and narrow due to the accumulation of plaque. Ten of the participants drank 50 milliliters (about 1.7 ounces) of pomegranate juice daily for one year, while the remaining nine participants did not consume any pomegranate juice. The researchers assessed various aspects of the participants' cardiovascular health before, during, and after the intervention.

They found that several parameters of cardiovascular health improved after one year of pomegranate juice consumption. For example, the participants' carotid artery thickness decreased by up to 30 percent and their blood pressure decreased by 21 percent. In addition, their total antioxidant status increased by 130 percent. Participants who didn’t drink pomegranate juice did not experience these improvements, and in some cases, their cardiovascular measures worsened.

This small study shows that drinking pomegranate juice may improve symptoms associated with narrowing of the arteries. Pomegranates are rich in various bioactive polyphenols, including tannins, ellagic acid, and anthocyanins, that exert potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, or cardioprotective effects in humans.

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