Pregnancy :: Pomegranate juice reduces brain injuries in babies

Drinking pomegranate juice during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of brain injuries in babies, US researchers have found.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that newborn mice whose mothers drank water mixed with pomegranate concentrate lost 60 percent less brain tissue than mice whose mothers drank sugar water or other fluids.

“Hypoxic ischemic brain injury in newborns is very difficult to treat, and right now there’s very little we can do to stop or reverse its consequences,” senior researcher David Holtzman, who heads the university’s Department of Neurology, said in a statement.

“Most of our efforts focus on stopping it when it happens, but if we could treat everyone who’s at risk preventively, we may be able to reduce the impacts of these kinds of injuries,” he said.

Pomegranates contain very high concentrations of polyphenols, a substance also found in berries and grapes, which has been shown to potentially have anti-aging and neuroprotective effects.

“For pregnant women previously interested in the neuroprotective effects of red wine, these results suggest that pomegranate juice may provide an alternative during pregnancy, when alcohol consumption is unacceptable because it increases risk of birth defects,” Holtzman said.

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