Pomegranate Fruit Shown To Slow Cartilage Deterioration In Osteoarthritis

  • Thread starter Kyo
  • Start date
In summary: I'm going to wait and see if respected science journals or doctors say anything about this before I change my mind about it.
  • #1
I got the feeling that many older women are concerned about
breaking a leg or a hip bone, well, I just heard on the Dr. Michio Kaku
radio show, his talk about this.

it seems that the main problem with early weakling of the bones is the
wearing and the shrinking of the cartilage between the bones. some
researchers say that drinking pomegranate juice can help to slow the
loss of cartilage.

normally I don't pay that much attention to new medical news, there
is just too many things that get reversed or dis-proven later, so it's
best to wait and see if some respected science journal or a respected
doctor or news site talks about it, Michio Kaku and Science Daily are
have talked about it now, so I sent the article below.

note, you can download the MP3 of that radio show, here

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 5:00 pm Play Download

(pages about him)

Source: Case Western Reserve University
Date: 2005-09-01
URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050901072114.htm


Pomegranate Fruit Shown To Slow Cartilage Deterioration In Osteoarthritis
Science Daily 2005 Sept. 01

Pomegranate fruit extracts can block enzymes that contribute to osteoarthritis according to a Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine study published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

The study looked at the ability of an extract of pomegranate fruit against Interleukin-1b (IL-1b), a pro-inflammatory protein molecule that plays a key role in cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis. Current treatments for osteoarthritis -- which affects 20 million people nationwide, according to the National Institutes of Health -- offer limited effectiveness and do little to slow joint destruction and disease progression.

"This has generated considerable interest in the identification and development of new approaches and reagents to treat and inhibit, if not abolish, the progress of the disease," said Tariq M. Haqqi, Ph.D., professor of medicine at Case.

"Arthritis is one of the foremost diseases for which patients seek herbal or traditional medicine treatments. However, all the extracts and herbs have not yet been scientifically evaluated for their efficacy and safety. Indeed, some of them may even interfere with the current treatments," Haqqi said. "Therefore, careful use of supplements and herbal medicines during early stages of disease or treatment may be made to limit the disease progression."

Plant-based flavonoids found in fruits, leaves and vegetables have attracted a lot of attention for their beneficial health effects in various diseases. Pomegranate, in particular, has been found to possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have potential therapeutic benefits in a variety of diseases. The Case study demonstrated for the first time the ability of pomegranate fruit extracts to slow the deterioration of human cartilage.

"It has been revered through the ages for its medicinal properties," said Haqqi. "Studies in animal models of cancer suggest that pomegranate fruit extract consumption may be anticarcinogenic, whereas studies in mice and humans indicate that it may also have a potential therapeutic and chemopreventive adjuvant effect in cardiovascular disorders."

A bonus with the native Persian fruit is that its antioxidant constituents are rapidly absorbed by the body and are non-toxic.

Using tissue samples of human cartilage affected by osteoarthritis, researchers added a water extract of pomegranate fruit to the culture using a well-established in vitro model. The findings showed a new activity for pomegranate fruit extract -- namely cartilage protection -- in addition to its previously discovered antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The IL-1b protein molecules create an overproduction of inflammatory molecules including matrix metalloproteases (MMP), which are tightly regulated enzymes necessary for tissue remodeling. When overproduced in a disease state, such as osteoarthritis, they degrade the cartilage resulting in joint damage and destruction.

The Case study results indicate that pomegranate fruit extracts inhibit the overproduction of MMP enzymes in human cartilage cells.

"This suggests that consumption of pomegranate fruit extract may help in protecting cartilage from the effects of IL-1b by suppressing cartilage degradation in OA," Haqqi said.

More studies are needed to determine the absorption rate of pomegranate fruit extracts in the joints. Future plans include animal model studies in osteoarthritis to determine whether the fruit extract promotes cartilage repair, and whether it can also be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.

This research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.


This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Case Western Reserve University.
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  • #2
Um...note they are talking about an extract from pomegranate fruit. They are also applying it directly to cells in tissue culture (at the end of the quoted text, they mention it has not even been tested in animal models of osteoarthritis yet to know if it does anything when administered systemically).

There are also two conflicting statements in this article:
"...However, all the extracts and herbs have not yet been scientifically evaluated for their efficacy and safety. Indeed, some of them may even interfere with the current treatments," Haqqi said.


A bonus with the native Persian fruit is that its antioxidant constituents are rapidly absorbed by the body and are non-toxic.

If they haven't tested them for efficacy and safety, how can they make the claim they are rapidly absorbed and non-toxic? Perhaps they are non-toxic in the concentrations present in the juice, but as DocToxyn can tell you, toxicity is dose and time dependent. If the compound in pomegranate juice that has IL-1b antagonist properties needs to be concentrated and administered at much higher doses than it is found in juice in order to be effective, it may not still be safe/non-toxic at those doses.

It also sounds from your preface that either you or M. Kaku are confusing osteoarthritis with osteoporosis (I didn't follow the links to find out where the confusion began). Osteoarthritis is a condition that involves painful inflammation of the joints. Osteoporosis is the condition of weakened, fragile bones and has nothing to do with joint inflammation. (I wouldn't take Kaku as any sort of authority on biology anyway.)

On the positive side, if they have identified a novel compound that is an effective (and hopefully specific) antagonist of IL-1b, this is an exciting finding even if it doesn't necessarily translate to a treatment of osteoarthritis, or one as simple as drinking more pomegranate juice (maybe it can be injected locally to the joints, or be used for research that will lead to finding something else even more effective). They would need to show it specifically antagonizes IL-1b and not all interleukins for this to be very exciting though.
  • #3

Thank you for sharing this information about the potential benefits of pomegranate fruit in slowing cartilage deterioration in osteoarthritis. It is certainly an interesting and promising finding, and it is always important to stay informed about potential treatments for health conditions. As you mentioned, it is wise to wait for further research and confirmation from respected sources before making any major changes to our diets or treatments. However, it is encouraging to see that respected scientists and doctors are discussing this topic, and I will definitely keep an eye out for any updates on this study. Thank you for providing the links to Dr. Michio Kaku and Science Daily for further reading.

Related to Pomegranate Fruit Shown To Slow Cartilage Deterioration In Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in joints to break down, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

What is pomegranate fruit?

Pomegranate fruit is a round, red fruit with a tough outer skin and juicy seeds inside. It is rich in antioxidants and has been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.

How does pomegranate slow cartilage deterioration in osteoarthritis?

Pomegranate contains compounds, such as punicalagin, that have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against cartilage breakdown in osteoarthritis. It also contains antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to cartilage deterioration.

Has there been any research done on pomegranate's effect on osteoarthritis?

Yes, there have been several studies that have shown the potential benefits of pomegranate in reducing cartilage deterioration and improving symptoms of osteoarthritis. These studies have been done on both humans and animals, but more research is needed to fully understand the extent of pomegranate's effects on osteoarthritis.

Can pomegranate be used as a treatment for osteoarthritis?

While pomegranate has shown promising results in reducing cartilage deterioration and improving symptoms of osteoarthritis, it is not a cure or a substitute for medical treatment. Pomegranate can be incorporated into a healthy diet as a potential supplement to traditional treatment methods, but it should not be used as the sole treatment for osteoarthritis.