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How Pomegranate Protects and Extends Menopausal Women's Lives

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 4:13:35 PM America/New_York

Modern women at midlife have many options when it comes to dealing with those nasty menopausal symptoms like mood swings, depression, bone loss, and fluctuating estrogen levels.  But their most surprising source of natural relief may come from an ancient food:  the juicy pomegranate.

Pomegranates have been cultivated for over 4,000 years.  Our word pomegranatedates back to around 750 B.C. and comes from the Latin "Punicum malum" meaning "Phoenician apple."  Today the fruit is often called a "Chinese apple." 

Despite its frequent comparison to an apple, the pomegranate bears a striking resemblance to the female ovary.  It is not too surprising, then, that it served as a symbol of fertility for the Zoroastrians and other ancient cultures.

Fruits in general are defined as "the developed ovary of a seed plant" but in the case of the pomegranate fruit, the physical resemblance to a human female ovary is striking.  Looking at a cross section of each reveals how similar are the containers for the pomegranate’s seeds and the ovary’s eggs.   

But the pomegranate’s resemblance to the female ovary goes beyond its physical similarities.  The fruit also provides the same estrogens as the female ovary – estradiol, estrone and estriol. 

What does this mean for a menopausal woman?  It may very well mean relief from depressive moods and a lower risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer and heart disease.

Bone Loss Reversed

In a 2004 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, rats who had their ovaries removed suffered accelerated bone loss, a typical symptom of menopause.  When they were fed an extract of pomegranate juice and seeds for just 2 weeks, however, their bone mineral loss reverted to normal rates. 

Pomegranates: The New Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Mood Improvement

The same Japanese researchers in the 2004 study also found that the rats given pomegranate extract measured lower levels of depression indicators.  Based on their results the authors found it conceivable that pomegranate would be clinically effective for women exhibiting a depressive state.

Heart Health

The rate of death from coronary heart disease in women after menopause is 2 to 3 times that of women the same age before menopause. Here again, pomegranates provide proven healing benefits:

  • Lowers Cholesterol - A 2000 study found that pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants which prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidizing and leading to atherosclerosis.
  • Lower blood pressure - A small 2004 clinical study by Israeli researchers concluded that drinking one glass a day of pomegranate juice may lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol oxidation, and reversed the plaque buildup in their carotid arteries by up to 29%.
  • Blood clotting – One study in the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that pomegranate juice slows down platelet aggregation and thins blood, preventing clotting.
  • Improves coronary heart disease – Several different studies have found that cardiovascular health is improved with the use of pomegranate juice since it reduces plaque, increases nitric oxide, and may prevent plaque from building in the arteries in some patients.
  • Increases oxygen flow - A 2007 study showed that drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily for three months increased oxygen flow to the heart muscle in coronary patients.

Breast Cancer

Lab studies have shown pomegranate anthocyanidins (sugarless plant pigments), flavonoids, and oils exert anticancer effects against breast tumors.

Although some women worry that foods with estrogenic properties may increase the risk of breast cancer, that isn’t the case.  In fact, pomegranate is a natural adaptogen, increasing levels of estrogen when the body is low but blocking stronger estrogens when levels are too high.  This innate intelligence to adapt its function to the body’s needs is an incredible benefit that natural foods have over pharmaceuticals.   

In fact, pomegranate extract was compared to the drugs Tamoxifen and Estradiol in a 2011 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.  The researchers suggested that the pomegranate extract may potentially prevent estrogen dependent breast cancers.

How do pomegranates work their magic?

An 8 ounce glass of pomegranate juice contains about 40% of the RDA of vitamin C, and also is rich in vitamins A and E and folic acid.

The pomegranate fruit contains antioxidants called phytochemicals, which protect plants from harmful elements in the environment. These same phytochemicals when ingested protect the cells in our body.  The juice has been found to contain higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices, including cranberry or blueberry, and more even than red wine or green tea.

Drink the juice or eat the seeds (yes, they are edible) to reap the benefits of this menopause miracle. 

For additional information on the healing properties of pomegranate, visit GreenMedInfo's extensive pomegranate resource page which lists over 80 researched health conditions.


Source: GreenMedInfo, "Amazing Fact: Pomegranate Can Serve As A Backup Ovary"

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Posted By Pure and Balanced

Top US Brand of Children's Vitamins Contains Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals

The #1 Children's Vitamin Brand in the US contains ingredients that most parents would never intentionally expose their children to, so why aren't more opting for healthier alternatives?

Kids vitamins are supposed to be healthy, right? Well then, what's going on with Flintstones Vitamins, which proudly claims to be "Pediatricians' #1 Choice"?  Produced by the global pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, this wildly successful brand features a shocking list of unhealthy ingredients, including:

On Bayer Health Science's Flintstones product page designed for healthcare professionals they lead into the product description with the following tidbit of information:

82% of kids aren't eating all of their veggies1. Without enough vegetables, kids may not be getting all of the nutrients they need.

References: 1. Lorson BA, Melgar-Quinonez HR, Taylor CA. Correlates of fruit and vegetable intakes in US children. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(3):474-478.

The implication? That Flintstones vitamins somehow fill this nutritional void. But let's look a little closer at some of these presumably healthy ingredients....

ASPARTAME

Aspartame is a synthetic combination of the amino acids aspartic acid and l-phenylalanine, and is known to convert into highly toxic methanol and formaldehyde in the body.  Aspartame has been linked to over 40 adverse health effects in the biomedical literature, and has been shown to exhibit both neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity [1]  What business does a chemical like this have doing in a children's vitamin, especially when non-toxic, non-synthetic non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia already exist?

CUPRIC OXIDE

Next, let's look closer at Cupric Oxide, 2mg of which is included in each serving of Flinstone's Complete chewable vitamins as a presumably  'nutritional' source of 'copper,' supplying "100% of the Daily Value  (Ages 4+), according to Flintstones Vitamins Web site's Nutritional Info.[2]

But what is Cupric Oxide? A nutrient or a chemical?

According to the European Union's Dangerous Substance Directive, one of the main EU laws concerning chemical safety, Cupric Oxide is listed as a Hazardous substance, classified as both  "Harmful (XN)" and "Dangerous for the environment" (N).  Consider that it has industrial applications as a pigment in ceramics, and as a chemical in the production of rayon fabric and dry cell batteries. In may be technically correct to call it a mineral, but should it be listed as a nutrient in a children's vitamin? We think not.

Top US Brand of Children's Vitamins Contain Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals

COAL TAR ARTIFICIAL COLORING AGENTS

A well-known side effect of using synthetic dyes is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. For direct access to study abstracts on this topic view our Food Coloring researchpage.  There is also indication that the neurotoxicity of artificial food coloring agents increase when combined with aspartame,[3] making the combination of ingredients in Flintstones even more concerning.

ZINC OXIDE

Each serving of Flinstones Complete Chewable vitamins contain 12 mg of zinc oxide, which the manufacturer claims delivers 75% of the Daily Value to children 2  & 3 years of age.  Widely used as a sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreens, The EU's Dangerous Substance Directive classifies it as an environmental Hazard, "Dangerous for the environment (N)."  How it can be dangerous to the environment, but not for humans ingesting it, escapes me.  One thing is for sure, if one is to ingest supplemental zinc, or market it for use by children, it makes much more sense using a form that is organically bound (i.e. 'chelated') to an amino acid like glycine, as it will be more bioavailable and less toxic.

SORBITOL

Sorbitol is a synthetic sugar substitute which is classified as a sugar alcohol. It can be argued that it has no place in the human diet, much less in a child's. The ingestion of higher amounts have been linked to gastrointestinal disturbances from abdominal pain to more serious conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.[4]

FERROUS FUMARATE

The one clear warning on the Flinstone's Web site concerns this chemical. While it is impossible to die from consuming iron from food, e.g. spinach, ferrous fumarate is an industrial mineral and not found in nature as food. In fact, ferrous fumarate is so toxic that accidental overdose of products containing this form is "a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6." The manufacturer further warns:

Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL

Finding hydrogenated oil in anything marketed to children is absolutely unacceptable. These semi-synthetic fatty acids incorporate into our tissues and have been linked to over a dozen adverse health effects, from coronary artery disease to cancer, violent behavior to fatty liver disease.[5]

GMO CORN STARCH

While it can be argued that the amount of GMO corn starch in this product is negligible, even irrelevant, we disagree. It is important to hold accountable brands that refuse to label their products honestly, especially when they contain ingredients that have been produced through genetic modification. The 'vitamin C' listed as ascorbic acid in Flintstones is likely also produced from GMO corn. Let's remember that Bayer's Ag-biotech division, Bayer CropScience, poured $381,600 of cash into defeating the proposition 37 GMO labeling bill in California. Parents have a right to protect their children against the well-known dangers of genetically modified foods and the agrichemicals that contaminate them, don't they? GMO corn starch is GMO, plain and simple. We'd appreciate it if Bayer would label their "vitamins" accordingly.  

In summary, Bayer's Flintstone's vitamin brand is far from a natural product, and the consumer should be aware of the unintended, adverse health effects that may occur as a result of using it. 


Resources

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Posted By Pure and Balanced
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