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High cholesterol: Pomegranate juice may reduce plaque thickness by 30%

High cholesterol is a common affliction in Western countries, due to an ever-growing prevalence of poor dietary habits. The condition rarely causes harm in the initial stages, but can lead to further complications like diabetes, erectile dysfunction, peripheral vascular disease, stroke and coronary heart disease. Fortunately, pomegranate juice may help reverse some of these risks.

Cholesterol is transported in the blood by two proteins, high-density lipoprotein (HDK) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

LDL is a hindrance to cardiovascular health because it directly contributes to the furring of the arteries.

It is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, which subsequently slows blood flow to the organs.

The NHS defines atherosclerosis a “potentially serious condition where arteries become clogged with fatty substances called plaques, or atheroma”.

Some studies probing the effects of pomegranate juice on lipid profiles have made promising discoveries about its cholesterol-busting capabilities.

READ MORE: The warning sign of high cholesterol that appears when you rest

In one study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, researchers observed notable reductions in plaque thickness in patients consuming pomegranate after one year.

Results showed that the carotid artery was reduced by up to 30 percent in individuals drinking pomegranate juice, compared to nine percent increase in carotid intima-media thickness noted in those consuming a placebo drink.

The findings also showed that “systolic blood pressure was reduced after one year of pomegranate juice consumption by 12 percent and was not further reduced along three years of […] consumption”.


Very Well Health suggests the polyphenols in pomegranate, which are its main source of antioxidant activity, could be accountable for these effects.

The chemicals are known to improve the function of the inner lining of the heart and blood vessels.

The study authors noted: “The results of the present study […] suggest that pomegranate juice consumption by patients with carotid artery stenosis decreases carotid intimal-media thickness and systolic blood pressure.

“[…] These effects could be related to the potent antioxidant characteristics of pomegranate juice polyphenols.”

READ MORE: High cholesterol: Three vegetables that can reduce ‘bad’ levels

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