CARDIOPROTECTIVE NATURE OF POMEGRANATE.
Cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the heart or blood vessels that are caused by atheroma. Patches of atheroma are like small fatty lumps that develop within the inside lining of blood vessels (arteries). Atheroma is also known as hardening of the arteries. A patch of atheroma makes an artery narrower, which can reduce the blood flow through the artery. Sometimes blood clots form over a patch of atheroma. Depending on the site of the atheroma the diseases that it causes include heart attack, angina, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
Pomegranates have shown a good effect in averting the numerous pathological changes associated with cardiovascular disease.Its mechanisms to fight cardiovascular disease by:
•Reducing oxidative stress.
•Supporting the synthesis and activity of nitric oxide
•Inhibiting the oxidation of potentially harmful LDL (low-density lipoprotein).
Fresh juice contains 85% water, 10% total sugars, and 1.5% pectin, ascorbic acid, and polyphenolic flavonoids. Pomegranate seeds are a rich source of crude fibers, pectin, and sugars. Dried pomegranate seeds contain the steroid estrogen Estrone, the isoflavone phytoestrogens genistein and daidzein, and the phytoestrogen coumestrol. Nitric oxide in body exerts many essential antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects in the body, including scavenging certain reactive oxygen species, preventing LDL oxidation, deterring the adhesion and aggregation of blood cells and platelets along the endothelial cell lining, and inhibiting the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Together, these effects help retard the progression of atherosclerosis. When scientists tested pomegranate against other antioxidants, they found that it helped enhance the biological actions of nitric oxide, thus conferring significant cardioprotection.
Preventing dangerous LDL oxidation is also crucial to protecting the blood vessels of the heart. Oxidized LDL can severely damage cardiovascular health by injuring cells that line the coronary arteries, leading to inflammation and narrowing that can precipitate a heart attack. LDL oxidation also reduces the activity of enzymes that produce nitric oxide in those blood vessels, thus preventing them from responding normally to changing demands for blood flow. When scientists treated human coronary artery cells with pomegranate juice, they discovered a dramatic correction in levels of nitric oxide production. This correction is likely to be beneficial in preventing complications of blood vessel disease, including heart attacks.