This randomized, double-blind, parallel trial assessed the influence of pomegranate juice consumption on anterior and posterior carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) progression rates in subjects at moderate risk for coronary heart disease. Subjects were men (45 to 74 years old) and women (55 to 74 years old) with > or =1 major coronary heart disease risk factor and baseline posterior wall CIMT 0.7 to 2.0 mm, without significant stenosis. Participants consumed 240 ml/day of pomegranate juice (n = 146) or a control beverage (n = 143) for up to 18 months. No significant difference in overall CIMT progression rate was observed between pomegranate juice and control treatments. In exploratory analyses, in subjects in the most adverse tertiles for baseline serum lipid peroxides, triglycerides (TGs), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, TGs/HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein-B100, those in the pomegranate juice group had significantly less anterior wall and/or composite CIMT progression versus control subjects. In conclusion, these results suggest that in subjects at moderate coronary heart disease risk, pomegranate juice consumption had no significant effect on overall CIMT progression rate but may have slowed CIMT progression in subjects with increased oxidative stress and disturbances in the TG-rich lipoprotein/HDL axis.