Sweet but with a sour note, fresh, fragrant and cheerful, pomegranate juice is appreciated by everyone, adults and children. And from today, we have one more reason to drink it. In fact, pomegranate juice, thanks to the precious antioxidants it contains, proves capable of counteracting tooth decay, inflammation and obesity, strengthening the immune system and protecting the body from attacks, including viruses and cell degeneration. This is what emerges from a review published a few weeks ago in the journal Nutrients (Venusova et al, Nutrients, 2021).
Properties of the pomegranate juice
The pomegranate is arousing considerable interest thanks to its precious content in antioxidants. In particular, one substance is the focus of numerous studies. We are talking about punicalagin, a powerful antioxidant of the ellagitannin class that is found mainly in the peel and internal membranes of the pomegranate. Therefore, punicalagin is found in extracts from the peel and in pomegranate juice, so, less in its seeds.
In order to better understand the health properties of punicalagin and therefore of pomegranate juice, the researchers carried out an analysis on more than 200 previous studies. Here is what emerged.
Pomegranate juice, anti-tumor and anti-aging action
Punicalagin has an anti-tumor action. In fact, it can promote apoptosis, that is the programmed death, of cells affected by certain types of cancer, such as blood and colon cancers. This substance is also a powerful antioxidant, capable of counteracting the action of radicals, aging processes and DNA mutations.
Antiviral pomegranate juice
Punicalagin and pomegranate juice are characterized by a proven antiviral action against hepatitis, herpes but also RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, which can cause pneumonia in children, and the dengue virus. Not only that, recent research has also shown the ability of punicalagin to inhibit the interaction between the spike protein and the human ACE2 receptor, allowing scientists to hypothesize a possible role in supporting the immune system against the new coronavirus. But be careful, we are not saying that a glass of pomegranate juice cures or prevents coronavirus infection, but only that within a healthy diet pomegranate juice finds its place to put our defenses in the best conditions to counteract external threats. In addition, this substance is able to reduce the level of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation, in the long term, can weaken the immune system and cause cardiovascular problems, diabetes, obesity and even depression. Therefore, reducing inflammation means strengthening the body and our defenses.
Pomegranate juice against tooth decay
But the properties of pomegranate juice still have surprises in store. In fact, the punicalagin contained in this drink also shows an antibacterial action and is useful in preventing tooth decay. Clearly, for this purpose, pomegranate juice must be pure and not added with sugars.
Pomegranate juice against obesity
Punicalagin, and therefore pomegranate juice, also counteracts extra pounds. This property is due to the ability of this antioxidant substance to increase metabolism by increasing thermogenesis and the demand for energy by the body's cells.