Pomegranate Juice Could Help Dialysis Patients

November 19, 2010
By: Kevin Hattori

According to a new study by researchers at the Technion Faculty of Medicine and Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, Israel, pomegranate juice that has safe and monitored potassium content could help prevent complications among kidney disease patients on dialysis. The results were presented November 18th at the American Society of Nephrology’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Denver.

The team lead by Dr. Batya Kristal of the Technion and graduate student Lilach Shema, studied 101 dialysis patients who received either pomegranate juice or another placebo drink at the beginning of each dialysis session, three times per week for one year.

pomegranates

The patients who drank pomegranate juice had reduced inflammation, an improvement in cardiovascular risk factors (including lower blood pressure and improved lipid profiles), less damage from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and a lower incidence of infections as compared to those who drank the placebo. The findings, say the researchers, support other studies that suggest pomegranate juice has potent antioxidant properties.

The decreased number lower incidence of infections and improvement in heart health among the pomegranate group helped boost the survival rate among these patients. These results could be especially important for kidney patients on dialysis, for whom cardiovascular-related events or infections are the leading causes of death.

“Considering the expected increase of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the next decade, further clinical trials using pomegranate juice aimed at reducing the high cardiovascular morbidity of CKD patients and their deterioration to end-stage renal disease should be conducted,” said Dr. Kristal.

More than 10 percent of U.S. adults suffer from chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel’s leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s first winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel’s high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.