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Health News Archive 656 - Erectile Dysfunction
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Pomegranate Juice Reduces Erectile Dysfunction

A glass of pomegranate juice every day may help manage erectile dysfunction, suggest results from a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study.

Writing in the International Journal of Impotence Research, researchers from The Male Clinic, Beverly Hills, and University of California, Los Angeles report that 47 percent of subjects reported erections improvements as a result of pomegranate juice, compared to only 32 percent in the placebo group.

"These findings are very encouraging as they suggest there is a non-invasive, non-drug way to potentially alleviate this quality of life issue that affects so many men. For men with ED, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Drinking pomegranate juice daily could be an important addition to the diet in the management of this condition," said co-author Harin Padma-Nathan from UCLA.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is estimated to affect one in 10 men worldwide and 10 to 30 million men in the United States alone. The disorder can be caused by several factors, including arterial plaque, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, nerve damage, endocrine imbalance or depression. Ultimately, ED is a condition that affects the blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation.

The researchers assigned 53 male subjects to two 4-week intervention periods separated by a two-week washout. Subjects were assigned to receive either a daily pomegranate juice (POM Wonderful, 237 ml, eight ounces), or a placebo beverage. Measures of erectile performance were obtained using International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Global Assessment Questionnaires (GAQ).

Mild ED is defined as the mildly decreased ability to get and keep an erection, while moderate ED is the moderately decreased ability to get and keep an erection. The majority of men with ED have moderate ED.

At the end of the study, 47 percent of the men reported improvements after consuming the pomegranate juice, while only 32 percent reported improvements during the placebo-phase.

"Subjects were more likely to have improved scores when pomegranate juice was consumed," concluded the researchers. "Although overall statistical significance was not achieved, this pilot study suggests the possibility that larger cohorts and longer treatment periods may achieve statistical significance."

Researchers believe that the results might be due to the potent antioxidant content of pomegranate juice, which can prevent free radical molecules from disrupting proper circulatory function.

Consumption of pomegranate juice has been on the rise, particularly in the UK where sales have rocketed in the last year thanks to media coverage of the antioxidant-rich fruit that has commonly been linked to improved heart health, as well as claims that pomegranate could protect against prostate cancer and slows cartilage loss in arthritis.

Source: C.P. Forest, H. Padma-Nathan and H.R. Liker. Efficacy and safety of pomegranate juice on improvement of erectile dysfunction in male patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study International Journal of Impotence Research (Nature Publishing)
Advance online publication 14 June 2007; doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901570

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