Osteoarthritis is the major cause of pain in joints. Todays busy life is not only one of the important factor which causes the pain in joint but lack of proper food and excersise also effect the joints and cause the osteoarthrities.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis which mainly occurs due to aging or any injury to bone. In osteoarthritis there is major destruction of cartilage tissue which further result in disrupting the smooth gliding motion of the joint surface leading to pain and inflammation. And therefore this type of arthritis is usually described as “wear and tear” arthritis.
Researchers have demonstrated, the importance of dietary interventions along with self-management in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis such as pain, tender swollen joints, joint disability and progression of disease. Dietary management in osteoarthritis patients is as important as other treatment measures for keeping body under weight control, reducing inflammation and building strong cartilage tissues. Therefore diet rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids is highly recommended for better improvement and faster recovery which include fruits and vegetables like oranges, pineapple, pomegranate, broccoli etc.
Scientific studies to prove how Pomegranate works for Osteoarthritis:
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) which belongs to the family of Punicaciae is native to Asia and widely cultivated fruit all over the world. The pomegranate fruit is nearly round in shape with leathery tough skin containing juicy, sweetly acidic arils (pink or whitish pulp seeds) packed within the sacs like compartments.
Pomegranates are high in vitamins like C, K, B5, and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron. This fruit has marked its importance in Ayurveda from ancient times as a folk medicine where all parts of the pomegranate tree including bark, root, fruit, seed and rind have medicinal uses.
Studies have shown various components of this fruit contains bioactive compounds such as polyphenolic, anthocyanin, and flavonoids having antioxidant properties. Pomegranate was also reported to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Scientist are always attracted towards the beneficial health effects of plant based polyphenolic compounds called flavonoids found in fruits, leaves and vegetables toward various diseases. Pomegranate fruit is one of them having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Researchers believe that these flavonoids present in pomegranate helps to reduce the inflammation and pain which happens due to destruction of joint cartilage in osteoarthritis.
Similar like pomegranate fruit, its juice also poses high content of antioxidants (polyphenols) which play important role in fighting against free radicals produced in body due to oxidative stress such as in arthritis patients, reducing the symptoms of inflammation and joint pain. Therefore researchers believe that polyphenols such as ellagic and punicalagin are majorly responsible for pomegranate antioxidant activity.
Along with antioxidant property, pomegranate polyphenols inhibit arterial plaque formation and oxidation of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol.
Studies have shown, pomegranate juice contains higher content of polyphenols compared to red wine, blueberry juice and green tea. Polyphenols are secondary metabolites synthesized by plants mainly as a part of defence mechanism against foreign particles or external stress factors. When antioxidant properties against the free radicals was estimated by DPH method (assay to detect antioxidant property), pomegranate juice was detected to have maximum antioxidant property (71%) in neutralizing free radicals compared that of red wine (46%), blueberry juice (33%) and green tea (10%).
A group of studies were conducted to explore the effects of pomegranate on the pathogenesis of bone loss in number of bone disorders such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It showed remarkable result where all studies concluded positive effect of pomegranate or its juice on osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis thus indicating, pomegranate and its juice can be effectively used in treating bone loss conditions.
Typically the symptoms of osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis conditions are usually treated by using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which unfortunately are believed to have side effects like gastric ulcers. But unlike NSAIs medicine, pomegranate fruit extract, its juice and pomegranate seed oil has no such side effects and are considered to be safe and non-toxic. Thus proving that pomegranate can be emerge as a potential new treatment in osteoarthritis.