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Pomegranate Seed Oil Benefits

By Dr. Shavon Jackson-Michel, ND

Pomegranate, a fruit native to Asia and the Middle East, has a long and treasured history as both a favorite food and a traditional healing substance. Some of its traditional healing benefits include protecting against heart disease, diabetes and cancer, boosting the immune system and reducing hot flashes and night sweats. Some of these benefits are being confirmed by science and are often attributed to the seed-rich oils found in this plant. The oils are potent sources of antioxidants and a beneficial fatty acid known as punicic acid, which is a close relative to the health-preserving fat, CLA.

Lowers Lipids

The cardiovascular protection traditionally attributed to the pomegranate seed oil has been confirmed by a 2010 British Journal of Nutrition article. Triglycerides are the primary fat found in the diet as well as the primary fat circulating in the blood stream. High levels of triglycerides are associated with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, a double-blind placebo-controlled trial found that when the oil was given in 400mg doses, twice per day for four weeks, blood concentrations of TAGs were reduced and ratios of the good fat, HDL, to TAG were increased. Other heart-healthy benefits of pomegranate, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, are derived from the fruit's high antioxidant content.

Fights Prostate Cancer

As an antioxidant, the University of Maryland Medical Center says, pomegranate has the ability to protect cells from the DNA damage that can interrupt the cell cycle and promote cancerous growth. Specifically, pomegranate seed extracts, which are often juice, rind and oil combinations, reduced the time that the prostate-specific cancer antigen (PSA) increased after prostate cancer surgery or radiation. The doubling time is regarding as the time it takes for the PSA to rise to abnormal levels within a short period of time and is an indicator of prognosis of the disease. A short doubling time increases a man’s risk of dying from the disease. Drinking 8 oz. of pomegranate extract daily almost quadrupled the doubling time.

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Revitalizes Skin

Natural anti-aging substances are the most sought-after ingredients used in topical anti-wrinkle skin products. The cosmetic industry is an important consumer of the antioxidant-rich and youth-rejuvenating pomegranate seed oils, according to the Mountain Rose Herb database. The oil improves skin elasticity and regenerates the skin by causing old skin cells called keratinocytes to be sloughed off more quickly. Additionally, its oils are anti-inflammatory, soothing and moisturizing and benefit dry and sunburned skin, eczema and psoriasis.

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