Pomegranate extract is derived from the various components of the Punica granatum fruit, which usually includes the juice, seeds, and peel.
In addition to being dense in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and K, pomegranate contains many antioxidants such as ellagitannins and punicalagin.
Ellagitannins are a type of polyphenol that, upon consumption, is metabolized into urolithins that offer potential anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
Punicalagins, on the other hand, are unique to the pomegranate fruit and are known for their cardiovascular benefits, particularly managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thus boosting heart health.
In addition to these antioxidants, pomegranate extract contains Omega-5 fatty acid, predominantly in the form of punicic acid – a constituent of pomegranate seed oil.
While punicalagins are potent antioxidants found mainly in juice and peel, punicic acid offers its own range of benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may help protect cells and maintain a healthy metabolism.
For pregnant women, the benefits of Omega-5 may be shared between the expectant mother and developing baby. While Omega-5 is lesser-known than Omega-3 and 6, there is burgeoning evidence highlighting its benefits. Some specific studies for pregnant women are explored below.
All in all, pomegranate extract offers a powerful, synergistic collection of natural compounds that work together to support and enhance overall health.
What are the Benefits of Pomegranate Extract During Pregnancy?
Pomegranate extract offers a wide range of nutritional benefits, but it also may yield specific benefits for pregnant women, including:
Support for Placental Health: Pomegranate extract's rich supply of antioxidants can contribute positively to the well-being of the placenta. The health of this organ is paramount as it serves as the baby's lifeline, supplying vital nutrients and oxygen.
Potential to Reduce Pregnancy Complications: Some research indicates that pomegranate extract might help decrease the risk of complications during pregnancy.
Combating Oxidative Stress: The robust antioxidant properties of pomegranate extract can shield against oxidative stress, which is a priority during pregnancy for both women and child.
Recent studies directly address the benefits of pomegranate for pregnant women.
A 2021 study published in Nature Scientific Reports has explored the impact of pomegranate juice, which is rich in polyphenols including punicalagin – also in pomegranate extract – on the developing brains of infants, particularly in cases where pregnancies were affected by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
In this double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 99 mothers with IUGR diagnosed between 24 - 34 weeks of gestation were divided into two groups. One group was given 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily, while the other received a placebo, with the regimen continuing until delivery.
57 infants were subjected to MRI scans at term-equivalent age to evaluate brain structure and any possible injury. The scans focused on brain volumes and the microstructure of white matter.
The key finding was that infants whose mothers consumed pomegranate juice exhibited a lower risk of brain injuries. This included less incidence of injury to white matter and cortical gray matter compared to the placebo group.
Is it Safe to Take Pomegranate Extract During Pregnancy?
Pomegranate extract is generally viewed as safe for most expectant mothers.Research has clarified pomegranate consumption likely doesn’t pose serious side effects, though large-scale studies are required to confirm this.
No side effects were found in either of the above studies investigating pomegranate supplementation during pregnancy.
This confirmed findings from other non-pregnancy-related studies that also revealed no side effects associated with pomegranate extract consumption.
Increasing dietary intake of pomegranate during pregnancy is likely safe, but it’s essential to contact a clinician about supplementing during pregnancy.
This is especially important if you’re taking other medication.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Taking Pomegranate Extract During Pregnancy?
While pomegranate is well-tolerated, the adage "too much of a good thing" still applies. While its safety profile is reassuring for moderate consumption, there are still limits to how much pomegranate extract one should consume.In the case of pomegranate juice, like most fruit juices, pomegranate juice contains relatively high sugar levels.
Gastrointestinal Sensitivities: A high intake of pomegranate extract might lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Pregnant women might experience symptoms like bloating, gas, or upset stomach.
Monitoring Sugar Levels: Pomegranate juice, the base of many extracts, naturally contains sugars. Maintaining a balanced blood sugar level is key, as excessive sugar can contribute to unwanted weight gain and potentially impact gestational diabetes. A mindful approach to sugar intake is essential.
Supplement Selection and Quality Control: Selecting high-quality supplements is critical. Opt for products from reputable manufacturers that adhere to strict quality standards and testing protocols to ensure purity and potency.
Consuming pomegranate extract, or supplements that contain some of its beneficial compounds, such as Omega-5, could help avoid any of these side effects.
The Recommended Dosage of Omega-5 for Pregnant Women
Omega-5 from pomegranate is one of the key components that give the fruit its powerful health benefits.
The world of fatty acids, including Omega-5 found in pomegranate seed oil, is a complex one with no one-size-fits-all dosage guidelines, especially for pregnant women.
While Omega-5s are not as well-known as their Omega-3 counterparts, they still play a role in a balanced diet.
With no established specific dosage recommendations for omega-5 during pregnancy, the best course of action is to adhere to the manufacturer's suggested intake for pomegranate extract supplements or seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Why Choose Nano Omega-5 Supplements?
Omega-5 supplements like Brain Protect™ Nano Omega 5 Cinnamon & Nano Omega 5 Hemp Oil offer a high-quality and bioavailable form of punicic acid, an omega-5 fatty acid found in pomegranate seed oil.
These supplements are formulated for optimal absorption, making it easier to obtain the benefits of pomegranate extract.
Incorporating pomegranate extract during pregnancy could offer a wide range of health benefits for both the expectant mother and developing child.
If you're considering adding this supplement to your prenatal care routine, explore Tahiro’s Brain Protect™ Nano Omega 5, which is scientifically proven and professionally vetted by clinicians.