Highly popular for its health benefits, pomegranate is widely consumed nowadays. Considered an exotic fruit, it is now easily accessible. But is it worth all the hype surrounding it? There is concern in the medical community about possible drug interactions in people who consume both the fruit and pomegranate juice. What’s really going on?
Consuming pomegranate in typical amounts is probably safe for most people. Some people, however, should be cautious. It is easy to understand that populations allergic to pomegranate may experience itching, swelling, runny nose and difficulty breathing. Reports have additionally been made regarding pomegranate juice interactions with common medications.
Pomegranate juice and health
Incidents have been noted in which patients receiving statins as a treatment for high cholesterol were taken to a clinic due to complications. This happened because pomegranate juice blocks certain enzymes resulting in increased levels of many drugs in the blood. Grapefruit juice is known to increase the risk of statin-induced myopathy, but until now there was little information on whether pomegranate juice can do the same.
Pomegranate and blood pressure
On the other hand, pomegranate juice is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and can help reduce blood pressure and other heart risk factors. However, it is believed to lower blood pressure in a similar way to that of drugs , namely prescription angiotensin inhibitors as a high blood pressure treatment. The combination of the two could create a synergistic effect, leading to exceptionally low blood pressure.
Particular care should be taken, in addition, with drugs that are metabolized by the liver. In particular, pharmaceutical substances such as codeine, despramine, amitriptyline and others with a common characteristic of being metabolized by the liver, when taken with a simultaneous intake of pomegranate, may increase their effect and lead to adverse effects.
However, do not forget that the above studies are few, isolated and not all of them have been done in humans. More clinical studies in both healthy volunteers and patients should be carried out to speak with certainty about serious interaction and risk. Remember to always consult your doctor and do not resort to unnecessary exclusions in your diet.
Restart your diet.
Nutrition Office, Thessaloniki.