For centuries Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures have considered pomegranates to be “the fruit of love”. Now modern medical research is suggesting the fruit’s reputation may indeed be well founded, at least where men are concerned.
A 2007 pilot study documented in the International Journal of Impotence Research indicated that drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily could result in significant improvement in mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.
The ten week double-blind study, which was conducted by the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, monitored 61 men who had experienced mild to moderate ED for a minimum of three months.
For the first four weeks of the study half the participants drank pomegranate juice and half drank a placebo. After a two week break during which neither the juice nor the placebo was consumed, the groups were switched so that by the end of the study both groups had spent four weeks drinking the juice and four weeks drinking the placebo. During the period of the study no other ED treatments were taken by either group.
At the end of both of the four week periods the participants were asked to do a self-evaluation of the effectiveness of the treatment. The combined results show that 47 percent of the participants said there was significant improvement in their ED during the weeks when they were drinking the juice, while just 32 percent reported improvement while drinking the placebo.
Though almost half of the participants reported marked improvement while drinking the juice, the researchers said that more studies involving larger groups of participants and longer treatment periods must be conducted before the results can be considered statistically significant. However the study authors said the results were encouraging because they point to the potential for a natural, non-invasive means of addressing ED.
Antioxidants are believed to be the pomegranate’s power source when it comes to alleviating ED, along with a host of other age-related diseases and conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes, and more. Antioxidants are substances capable of neutralizing, repairing, and even preventing damage by free radicals, chemically imbalanced molecules that scavenge and damage the cells with which they interact.
Free radical damage is strongly associated with almost every age-related condition and disorder, from age spots to Alzheimer’s disease. Pomegranates contain the most antioxidants of any natural food, which makes them a natural antiaging powerhouse. In the ED study, it is believed that the antioxidants in the juice improved overall blood flow and perhaps mitigated the development of arterial plaque, enhancing and promoting the dilation of blood vessels.
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