Pomegranates and Testosterone: Nitric Oxide & More
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Mon 24 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Vlad Belghiru, MD
The pomegranate (Punica grantum) is an antioxidant-rich fruit with small red edible seeds.
It originates from the Mediterranean region, but nowadays, the use of this delicious fruit has spread around the globe.
Due to the many claims made about the possible health benefits, pomegranate is in high demand in the United States, which is why some of the largest growing fields of pomegranate can be found in California and Arizona.
It’s somewhat of a hassle to consume the whole fruit, which is why a much more popular way to use it is in the form of pomegranate juice. Perhaps the most known one of these is the POM brand.
Pomegranate, Nitric Oxide, Heart, and Erectile Quality
Some of the primary benefits of pomegranates lie in their ability to reduce blood pressure, clear out arterial plaque, and improve erection quality.
There’s a multi-factor reason to why it works so well to benefit the cardiovascular system.
Pomegranates contain a powerful dietary antioxidant by the name of punicalagin (which is responsible for more than 50% of the antioxidant potency1), the fruit also stimulates the production of natural antioxidants produced by the body, such as; glutathione, glutathione-peroxidase, and catalase2.
Knowing this, it’s no surprise that pomegranate juice has been found to have far greater antioxidant activity and antioxidant capacity than red wine, grapes, blueberry juice, black cherry juice, cranberry juice, or acai berry juice3.
But the antioxidants are just part of the reason why pomegranates are a supreme food for blood flow and erection quality, as it has also been found that consumption of pomegranate juice can greatly increase the enzyme system (eNOS) that produces the body’s primary vasodilator; nitric oxide (NO)4, and the fruit can even protect the nitric oxide molecules from degradation, enhancing its biological action5.
Like this isn’t enough, the fruit is also a rich source of dietary nitrate6, which gets converted into nitric oxide by the actions of tongue and gut bacteria7.
Increased nitric oxide production has been shown time and time again to improve erectile quality and drop blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and improving the flexibility of the endothelium, aka. an interior surface of the blood vessels8–10. Since pomegranate is among the best possible natural methods to increase and protect nitric oxide, it’s no surprise that consumption of the fruit results in reduced blood pressure, enhanced circulation, improved cardiovascular health, and improvements in men with erectile dysfunction11–13.
On top of all the above, one long-term study had the subjects drinking 50ml of pomegranate juice per day for 1-3 years, and noted a staggering 30% reduction in arterial plaque, with improved antioxidant status, reduced blood pressure, and significantly lowered rate of LDL cholesterol oxidation14.
Would I have to choose the best food for cardiovascular health and circulation, it would probably be pomegranates or pomegranate juice (affiliate link).
Pomegranates and Testosterone
It’s easy to postulate that pomegranates are one of the foods that boost testosterone levels naturally.
We already know that the consumption of the fruit increases the bodily antioxidant status, and research has shown quite clearly that raising the antioxidant activity in the testes results in the improved production of testosterone15.
Pomegranates contain small amounts of weak phytoestrogens (which sadly scare some men away from the great benefits of the fruit), but it’s crucial to know that pomegranates are also a source for several potent anti-estrogenic compounds16.
When tested in rats2, pomegranate extract greatly reduced testicular oxidative stress, improved sperm quality, and raised testosterone levels by 22%. In humans, a study of 60 volunteers noted that 2 weeks of pomegranate juice consumption resulted in significantly lowered blood pressure and a nice 24% average increase in free-testosterone levels17.
Nutrition is a big part of natural testosterone optimization, and there aren’t many better foods that could directly help raise the levels of free-T than some good organic pomegranate juice, albeit it’s admittedly pretty expensive stuff (affiliate link).
There are some legitimate reasons to call pomegranate a superfood, as research has shown the fruit to;
- Increase and protect nitric oxide molecules.
- Reduce blood pressure and boost circulation.
- Clear arterial plaque and reduce LDL-oxidation.
- Increase free-testosterone levels and sperm quality.
What more could we even demand from simple fruit? Sure it’s pretty expensive compared to some other fruits, but I’d argue that it’s certainly worth every penny health-wise. Besides, you don’t need to drink much to see the benefits, even 50ml/day could be enough.