Punica granatum L. (Pomegranate) has been claimed to provide several health benefits. Pomegranate juice is a polyphenol-rich fruit juice with high antioxidant capacity. Several studies suggested that pomegranate juice can exert antiatherogenic, antioxidant, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory effects. Nevertheless, the potential cardioprotective benefits of pomegranate juice deserve further clinical investigation. To systematically review and meta-analyze available evidence from randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of pomegranate juice consumption and blood pressure (BP). A comprehensive literature search in Medline and Scopus was carried out to identify eligible RCTs. A meta-analysis of eligible studies was performed using a random-effects model. Quality assessment, sensitivity analysisand publication bias evaluations were conducted using standard methods. Quantitative data synthesis from 8 RCTs showed significant reductions in both systolic [weighed mean difference (WMD): -4.96mmHg, 95% CI: -7.67 to -2.25, p<0.001) and diastolic BP (WMD: -2.01mmHg, 95% CI: -3.71 to -0.31, p=0.021) after pomegranate juice consumption. Effects on SBP remained stable to sensitivity analyses. Pomegranate juice reduced SBP regardless of the duration (>12 wks: WMD=-4.36mmHg, 95% CI: -7.89 to -0.82, p=0.016) and <12 wks: WMD=-5.83 mmHg, 95% CI: -10.05 to -1.61, p=0.007) and dose consumed (>240cc: WMD=-3.62mmHg, 95% CI: -6.62 to -0.63, p=0.018) and <240cc: WMD=-11.01mmHg, 95% CI: -17.38 to -4.65, p=0.001, pomegranate juice per day) whereas doses >240cc provided a borderline significant effect in reducing DBP. The present meta-analysis suggests consistent benefits of pomegranate juice consumption on BP. This evidence suggests it may be prudent to include this fruit juice in a heart-healthy diet.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular risk; Flavonoids; Pomegranate.
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