Pomegranate Protects Infants from Brain Injury

July 18, 2005

1 Min Read
Pomegranate Protects Infants from Brain Injury


Pomegranate Protects Infants from Brain Injury

SEATTLEAccording to a studypublished in the June issue of Pediatric Research (57,6:858-864, 2005), pregnant mothers who supplement with pomegranate juice,notable for its high polyphenol content, may help their babies resist hypoxiaischemia, a condition caused by low oxygen and reduced blood flow to the infantbrain. The condition has been linked to premature birth and other irregularitiesduring pregnancy, birth and early development.

In the study, mice were provided ad libitum access to drinkingwater with pomegranate juice at one of three doses, as well as plain water,sugar water and vitamin C water controls during the last third of pregnancy andthroughout the duration of litter suckling. At postnatal day seven, pupsunderwent unilateral carotid ligation followed by exposure to eight percentoxygen for 45 minutes. Brain injury was assessed biochemically after 24 hours,and histologically after 1 week (percentage of tissue area loss).

Dietary supplementation with pomegranate juice resulted inmarkedly decreased brain tissue loss (>60 percent) in all three brain regionsassessed, with the highest pomegranate juice dose having greatest significance.

Researchers concluded maternal dietary supplementation withpomegranate juice is neuroprotective for the neonatal brain due to thepolyphenolic component in pomegranate juice.

For pregnant women previously interested in theneuroprotective effects of red wine, these results suggest that pomegranatejuice may provide an alternative during pregnancy, when alcohol consumption isunacceptable because it increases risk of birth defects, wrote the studyauthors.

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