Get super skin with a super juice
A popular brand of pomegranate juice features a stylized heart on the label, hinting at its heart-healthy reputation. Researchers have done a lot to strengthen this reputation, but did you know pomegranate juice may also decrease the appearance of aging on your skin?
Look as young as you feel. Ellagic acid, an antioxidant found in pomegranates, raspberries, and strawberries, protects your skin from collagen breakdown, which can lead to wrinkles. It also fights inflammation and damage from too much sun.
Researchers in Korea tested how ellagic acid works using both human skin cells and hairless mice — lab animals with skin that’s similar to human skin.
Skin cells were given a bath of ellagic acid, similar to what happens if you eat lots of berries. Then the cells were exposed to UV radiation, like you get from spending time in the sun. After either 24 or 48 hours of UV exposure, skin cells that had been treated with ellagic acid showed less breakdown of collagen, the protein that gives skin its structure. Collagen breakdown causes skin to sag and wrinkle.
Next, the researchers slathered ellagic acid on the skin of hairless mice to see how the antioxidant would react. The mice were treated with increasing doses of UV light three times a week for eight weeks. After this extended sunbathing, the mice treated with ellagic acid had less skin wrinkling and skin thickening.
Looking at the results of both studies, the researchers noticed benefits
of using this fruity skin care remedy both internally and externally.
Reap additional benefits. While you drink pomegranate juice to keep your outsides looking young, you also do great things for your insides. Research shows the ellagic acid, vitamin C, and polyphenols in pomegranate juice have these benefits:
- Reduces fat stored around your middle — the belly fat that tends to creep up during middle age.
- Lowers high blood pressure and battles high cholesterol.
- Cuts your risk of several types of cancers, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.
- Boosts muscle recovery after strenuous exercise.
May fight the inflammation and joint damage of rheumatoid arthritis. Because some of this research was done using pomegranate extract in the form of supplements rather than fresh pomegranate juice, and other studies were done on just a few people, scientists are still investigating exactly how pomegranate might keep you healthy. But even if you enjoy just a fraction of these health benefits, drinking pomegranate juice every day may still be a healthy habit.
- FC&A Staff Writer