Studies show that the consumption of pomegranate juice during pregnancy can improve brain development and connectivity in unborn babies. Pomegranate juice, which is especially a rich source of polyphenols is known to cross the blood-brain barrier. Polyphenols, include tannic acid and ellagitannins. They are a group of a class of antioxidants found in many foods and beverages, including nuts, berries, red wine and teas.
These findings assure a continued investigation into the possible neuroprotective effects of polyphenols in at-risk newborns, such as those with hypoxic-ischemic injury,” Inder, the author of the study, said.
In the study, preparatory findings from a clinical trial of expectant mothers whose babies were diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).In IUGR cases, a baby in the womb marks exceptionally small for its gestational age, because of problems with the placenta, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the developing foetus. One out of every 10 babies is considered to have IUGR. Women were randomised to get eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily or a taste/calorie matched placebo that was polyphenol free. Women drank the juice daily from enrolment until delivery.
The research measured various perspectives of brain development and injury, including infant brain macrostructure, microstructural organization and functional connectivity. But they did not perceive differences in brain macrostructure, they did find regional differences in white matter microstructure and functional connectivity.
“These measures tell us about how the brain is developing functionally. We saw no difference in brain growth and baby growth, but we did see improvement in cabling network and brain development measured by synchronous blood flow and visual development of the brain,” Inder said.