Pomegranates Could Ease Peripheral Arterial Disease

A few years back, pomegranates came into fashion as the latest of the so-called ‘super fruits’ that have excellent benefits for your health and wellness. They are still very popular today, often recommended for anyone who wants to build up a healthy supply of vitamins and minerals in their body. But now it seems that pomegranates could play another role in improving our wellbeing – and it’s all to do with Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD.

PAD is a disease where large arteries become obstructed. It can cause pain, numbness and muscle weakness in the affected areas. It affects an estimated 10 million Americans and increases the chance of death from a cardiovascular event. Unfortunately, we don’t currently fully understand what causes the disease.

However, a new study conducted by researchers from the Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute has revealed that low levels of antioxidants in the body contribute to increased blood pressure during exercise for people with PAD. The researchers were also able to determine that adding antioxidants, like those found in pomegranates, to the blood was a way to lessen the increase in blood pressure during exercise for people who suffer with the disease.

Previous studies had shown that having low levels of antioxidants and an increased number of chemical products called reactive oxygen species is related to more severe cases of PAD. Increasing the levels of antioxidants prevents the reactive oxygen species from damaging cells in the body.

Depending on how severe the case of PAD, we know that during exercise the blood pressure can increase quite dramatically in both legs. But the researchers were also able to prove that the increase in blood pressure was not coming as a result of the exercise itself, but another factor. It now seems that a better intake of antioxidants or even an antioxidant supplement could be useful for patients with PAD.

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