Denver, CO—Sell pomegranate juice in your store? A preliminary study suggests pomegranate juice is a good source of antioxidants and can prevent various complications kidney disease patients encounter on hemodialysis.

Researchers led by Batya Kristal, M.D., FASN, from the Western galilee Hospital in Israel, studied 101 dialysis patients who received pomegranate juice or a matching placebo. Patients received this treatment at the start of each dialysis session, three times a week for one year. Laboratory tests demonstrated that pomegranate consumption improved patients’ inflammation, reduced infection and minimized oxidative stress levels.

According to the American Society of Nephrology, other data collected in the study also revealed improvement in cardiovascular risk factors in pat ients who drank pomegranate juice. Risk factors include reduced blood pressure and improved lipid profile. These findings are particularly important for dialysis patients because kidney disease is associated with cardiovascular-related deaths or infections in such individuals.

These data support other studies suggesting pomegranate juice has effective antioxidant properties.

Researchers also stated patients drinking a controlled amount of pomegranate juice can pair the drink with a monitored amount of potassium. This may help decrease the complications that often occur in dialysis patients. However, the risks involved with potassium overload demand attention especially in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with nutritional potassium restriction.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, January 2011