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Open Access Research

Does Pomegranate intake attenuate cardiovascular risk factors in hemodialysis patients?

Lilach Shema-Didi1, Batya Kristal23, Shifra Sela345, Ronit Geron2 and Liora Ore5*

Author Affiliations

1 Quality Assurance Department, Western Galilee Hospital – Nahariya, Nahariya, Israel

2 Nephrology Department, Western Galilee Hospital – Nahariya, Nahariya, Israel

3 Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar Ilan University, Safed, Israel

4 Clinical Microbiology Lab and Eliachar Research Lab, Western Galilee Hospital – Nahariya, Nahariya, Israel

5 School of Public Health, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:18  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-18

Published: 4 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality among hemodialysis (HD) patients. It has been attributed, among other causes, to hypertension and dyslipidemia. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of a year-long consumption of Pomegranate juice (PJ), on two traditional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors: hypertension and lipid profile, as well as on cardiovascular events.

Methods

101 HD patients were randomized to receive 100 cc of PJ (0.7 mM polyphenols) or matching placebo juice, three times a week for one year. The primary endpoints were traditional CV risk factors; blood pressure and lipid profile. Systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure, plasma levels of triglycerides (TG), high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol were monitored quarterly during the study year. Secondary endpoint was incidence of cardiovascular events.

Results

PJ consumption yielded a significant time response improvement in systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, triglycerides and HDL level; an improvement that was not observed in the placebo intake group. These beneficial outcomes were more pronounced among patients with hypertension, high level of triglycerides and low levels of HDL.

Conclusion

Regular PJ consumption by HD patients reduced systolic blood pressure and improved lipid profile. These favorable changes may reduce the accelerated atherosclerosis and high incidence of CVD among HD patients.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov registry, Identifier number: NCT00727519

Keywords:
Pomegranate juice hemodialysis; Polyphenols; Hypertension; Lipid profile