Have you noticed this? All too often the foods that are the best for you are not the ones you like the most. So wouldn't it be wonderful if I could tell you about a food that tasted great and was just as good for you? Well, keep reading....
Pomegranates are rapidly becoming such a food. I have reported to you already that two studies show that pomegranate juice is probably much more effective at preventing heart disease than statin drugs are. And it can do this without any of the nasty side effects. Now, just last month, researchers found that pomegranate juice also can be a major treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers start by pointing out that oxidative stress is the underlying cause of Alzheimer's disease. Oxidative stress, as you may know, occurs when oxidants react with parts of the cell that they were not meant to and create damage. The uncontrolled reactions of oxidants are the fundamental cause of all degenerative diseases, as well as the very process of aging itself. Fortunately, our cells have special systems called antioxidant systems. When these systems fail to control the reactivity of oxidants, the oxidants get out of control and problems happen.
So it should be pretty obvious that the most important single thing we can do to live longer and live better is to keep our anti-oxidant systems working optimally. The best lifestyle way to do this is with regular vigorous exercise. The best single medical therapy to do this is ozone therapy. But nutrients and foods can also play an important role. And one of the best foods in this regard is pomegranates. Pomegranates contain very high levels of unique nutrients called polyphenols that are very good at making sure that our antioxidant systems are working well. And that is why the researchers used pomegranates to see if they would be able to stop or even improve Alzheimer's disease. Here's what they did.
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They took a group of mice that were genetically altered to develop amyloid deposits. Amyloid deposits are what cause the abnormalities in Alzheimer's disease. As these mice got older, they developed severe memory and behavioral problems. They gave half of the mice the usual mice chow. They gave the other half the same chow except that it also contained 4% pomegranate extract. They started the experiment when the mice were four months old and were already showing signs of the disease. The experiment went on for about 18 months. I'll just let the authors tell you the remarkable results themselves.
"The mice that were fed the standard chow diet without pomegranates showed significant memory deficits, increased anxiety-related behavior, and severe impairment in spatial learning ability, position discrimination learning ability, and motor coordination. In contrast, the mice that were fed a diet containing 4% pomegranates showed significant improvements in memory, learning, locomotor function, as well as reduction in anxiety. Our results suggest that dietary supplementation with pomegranates may slow the progression of cognitive and behavioral impairments in Alzheimer's disease."
Now here's the point. If pomegranates are able to reverse Alzheimer's by optimizing our antioxidant control systems, then what other diseases may they be able to either reverse or prevent? That list may be very long. And I am going to make it a point to keep track of the research that keeps coming out on the medicinal powers of pomegranates. But for right now I can tell you this.
I get pomegranates from Costco when they are in season and make my own juice from them every day. When they are not available, I get the pure juice from Wal-Mart. I drink four ounces a day. When I'm traveling, I get pomegranate juice extract from
www.navitasnaturals.com and add 1 tsp to my morning
QuickStart smoothie. Am I going to live longer or better as a result? I don't know. But this I do know. Pomegranates and pomegranate juice taste great. And there just aren't that many things that taste this great that may also be one of the best things you could do for your health.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Subash S, Braidy N, Essa MM, et al. Long-term (15 mo) dietary supplementation with pomegranates from Oman attenuates cognitive and behavioral deficits in a transgenic mice model of Alzheimer's disease. Nutrition. 2015 Jan;31(1):223-9.