LDL oxidation is a harmful process that occurs when free radicals damage normal LDL cholesterol. Once this happens, it triggers a chain of inflammatory responses, which can ultimately lead to atherosclerosis, a condition marked by plaque buildup. Once this happens, blood flow in the affected area is greatly decreased, which can increase the chances of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attacks. In general, a person can produce high levels of oxidized LDL when he has increased levels of free radicals or LDL cholesterol. Certain lifestyle choices, conditions, or food items can increase the risk of LDL oxidation, including:
If LDL becomes oxidized, it often stays in the inner lining of the arteries, in particular, the carotid and coronary arteries, as well as the peripheral arteries that supply blood to the legs and arms.
In the study, the team focused on pomegranate extracts, especially their antioxidant properties. Multiple fractions were isolated from the extract, and these were tested against a copper-induced LDL oxidation model. Of all the isolated fractions, the polyphenol fraction derived from fermented juice exhibited a dose-dependent effect and slowed down the effects of LDL oxidation. However, no synergistic effects were noted between the fraction and other isolates.
"In conclusion, our results showed a potent antioxidant effect of pomegranate [polyphenol] fraction on copper-induced LDL oxidation in vitro," the researchers concluded in their report.
The team also suggested using the extract as a natural food preservative for meat and fatty food, given its ability to reduce the oxidative process. (Related: A healthier macaroni: Using pomegranate peel flour makes the dish more nutritious.)
The ruby red seeds of pomegranates don't just help improve cholesterol levels, it can also boost cognitive function and even prevent against other chronic diseases. Here are just some of the other benefits that a person can get from eating pomegranates.
Learn more about the benefits of pomegranates at Food.news.