Effects of Pomegranate Extract Supplementation on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Physical Function in Hemodialysis Patients

Pei Tzu Wu, Peter J. Fitschen, Brandon M. Kistler, Jin Hee Jeong, Hae Ryong Chung, Michael Aviram, Shane A. Phillips, Bo Fernhall, Kenneth R. Wilund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of oral supplementation with pomegranate extract on cardiovascular risk, physical function, oxidative stress, and inflammation in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Thirty-three HD subjects were randomized to the pomegranate (POM) or placebo (CON) group. Patients in POM ingested a 1000 mg capsule of a purified pomegranate polyphenol extract 7 days/week for 6 months. Individuals in CON ingested a noncaloric placebo capsule using the same protocol. Measurements were conducted at baseline and repeated 6 months following the start of the intervention. Brachial blood pressure (BP) was obtained using an automatic digital BP monitor. Cardiovascular risk was assessed using ultrasound and arterial tonometry. Blood samples were collected for the measurements of circulating markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and antioxidant capacity. Muscle strength and physical function were assessed by isokinetic dynamometry, a validated shuttle walk test, and a battery of tests to assess functional fitness. Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were reduced by 24±13.7 and 10±5.3 mmHg, respectively, in POM (P<.05). However, the BP differences in POM were no longer significant after controlling for baseline BP. The paraoxonase-1 activity increased by 26.6% (P<.05) in POM, compared to no significant change in CON. However, pomegranate supplementation had no effect on other markers of cardiovascular disease risk, inflammation and oxidative stress, or measures of physical function and muscle strength. While pomegranate extract supplementation may reduce BP and increase the antioxidant activity in HD patients, it does not improve other markers of cardiovascular risk, physical function, or muscle strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-949
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of medicinal food
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • antioxidant supplementation
  • cardiovascular disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • oxidative stress
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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