Background: Diabetes causes the increased concentration of circulatory cytokines as a result of inflammation. Considering that pomegranate juice (PJ) is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of PJ consumption on markers of inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Materials and methods: In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial study, 50 patients with T2D (40-65 years old) were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Participants in each group received either 250 mL/day PJ or a control beverage for 12 weeks. Biochemical markers including fasting plasma glucose (FPG), insulin and inflammatory markers were assayed on the baseline and follow-up blood samples.
Results: In all, 44 patients in two groups were included in the analysis: PJ (n = 22) and placebo (n = 22). After 12 weeks of intervention, in the PJ group, there were 32% and 30% significant decreases in plasma C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and Interlukin-6, respectively (P < 0.05). The mean ± SD plasma interlukin-6 (7.1 ± 5.6 vs. 11.9 ± 14.4 mg/L) and hs-CRP (1791 ± 1657 and 1953 ± 1561 ng/mL) concentrations in the PJ group were significantly lower than the placebo group after intervention (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: PJ consumption by patients with T2D does not affect FPG or the insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), whereas it does reduce Interlukin-6 and hs-CRP concentrations in plasma. Therefore, PJ consumption may have an anti-inflammatory effect in patients with T2D.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; inflammation; pomegranate.