Pomegranate extract found to help mitigate the effects of a high fat diet; when combined with inulin, it also lowers cholesterol
Sometimes the sum is greater than its parts, and scientists have found this to be the case when it comes to the cholesterol-lowering effects of pomegranate and inulin. Both have been found to lower cholesterol individually, but when taken together, they become a force to be reckoned with.
Researchers already knew from animal studies that the pomegranate extract, with its abundance of polyphenols, has the power to alleviate the metabolic alterations that are caused by a diet that is high in fat. The polysaccharide inulin has been known to have a similarly positive effect on cholesterol and lipid metabolism.
In research that was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, scientists divided male mice into four groups at six to seven weeks of age. All of them were placed on a diet that was high in fat and sucrose. The control group was not given any type of supplementation. The second group received a PomX supplement, which is made of pomegranate extract, while the third group was given inulin. A fourth group was supplemented with both inulin and PomX.
Four weeks into these diets, the scientists noted that those mice who were supplementing with both inulin and PomX had far lower levels of hepatic and serum total cholesterol than those who took either of the supplements individually. PomX on its own raised the gene expression of some key regulators of the body’s bile acid synthesis pathways and brought liver triglyceride levels down, whereas inulin did not affect serum or liver triglyceride levels.
However, inulin by itself did lower the gene expression of the key regulators for cholesterol synthesis and higher fecal elimination of the the total bile acids as well as neutral sterols. Moreover, it was only those mice who took the combination of inulin and PomX who saw reduced lipid and liver weights.
According to the scientists, this is the first study to come up with detailed findings regarding the enhanced cholesterol-reducing effects of the combination of inulin and pomegranate extract.
Healthy alternative to statins
This is good news for people who are struggling to get their cholesterol under control. Statins are often prescribed to help people lower their cholesterol, but these drugs carry a host of highly undesirable side effects with them. Some of the problems people can encounter from statin use include muscle weakness, memory loss, brain fog, dementia, and some types of cancer. They suppress your body’s immune system, making it hard for you to fight off infections, and they also boost your risk of diabetes as well as obesity. All that risk comes in exchange for extending your lifespan by an average of just 3.2 days.
A third of American adults currently take these drugs, so healthier alternatives like pomegranate extract and inulin could make a huge difference for a significant number of people. The number of those who are given these drugs has risen in recent years following a redefinition of “high cholesterol” devised to boost the sales of statins that saw tens of millions of people in the U.S. suddenly falling into the “high cholesterol” classification.
Pomegranates are a great choice whether your cholesterol is high or not. They boast a remarkable list of nutrients, including calcium, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, and zinc, and their antioxidants protect your cells against inflammation, free radicals and tumor growth. The punicic acid in the seeds can help protect against breast cancer, and they have also been shown to help those with prostate cancer. In addition, pomegranate seeds have anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, making them ideal for protecting you against inflammation and infection.
It’s disheartening to think that so many people are taking dangerous drugs when there are such great natural alternatives available that can do so much for your body.