Science Backs Pomegranate to Balance the Body Published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovas-
cular Diseases in February 2019, the study's aim was to determine if synbiotic pomegranate juice might improve symptoms in pa- tients with PCOS. Synbiotic is defined as "a combination of prebiotics and probiotics that synergistically promotes gastroin- testinal health by improving survival and adherence of live mi- crobial dietary supplements." The addition of active cultures of healthy gut bacteria was
posited by researchers as potentially therapeutic in the treatment of PCOS, since previously collected data have shown that dys- biosis of gut microbiota, usually due to a high fat-sugar diet, causes intestinal permeability leading to the chronic inflammation that is a frequent symptom of PCOS. Specific symptoms being measured in this randomized, triple-
blind, parallel study were glycemic indices, sex hormone profile and anthropometric measurements such as weight-for-age and -height and waist circumference. Methodology for the trial was to create four groups of 23 patients each, aged 15 to 48 years, who had no other condition related to excess androgen and who further met two of the following criteria:
• Oligomenorrhea (interval between two menstrual periods >35 days) or amenorrhea (no vaginal bleeding for >6 months).
• Clinical findings of increased blood androgen levels (hirsut- ism scores >7 or obvious acne) or increased blood testosterone levels (testosterone levels >2 nmol).
• Polycystic ovaries in ultrasound scan (12 follicles measuring 2 to 9 mm in diameter, or ovarian volume >10 ml in at least one ovary).
Patients were excluded if they were actively taking other treatments, such as corticosteroids, antibiotics and hormone pills, were smokers, lactating or had been diagnosed with other severe disease(s). A final sampling of 92 patients gave their informed consent and participated in the eight-week trial. Participants were randomized into one of four groups:
• Synbiotic pomegranate juice (SPJ): Patients in this group re- ceived two, 1-liter bottles of pomegranate juice containing inulin and lactobacillus, per week.
• Pomegranate juice (PJ): Patients in this group received two, 1-liter bottles of pomegranate juice per week.
• Synbiotic beverage (SB): Patients in this group received two, 1-liter bottles of pomegranate-flavored synbiotic beverage per week.
• Control group (CG): Patients in this group received two, 1-liter bottles of pomegranate-flavored placebo beverage per week.
In keeping with "blinded" protocols, all beverages were produced to have the same look, smell and taste. Tests were conducted pre-trial to ensure viability of the live bacteria,
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m February 2020
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