This was not one of the LA Times’ Healthy Skeptic columns, but it may as well have been. As that column often does, this story dampened the hype surrounding claims for pomegrante juice and pills.
We especially appreciate the point-by-point analysis of evidence that the story undertook.
A cardiologist quoted in the story said, “If people want to take them, that’s fine, but it’s not based on any scientificallly valid information….There’s no definitive clinical trial demonstrating a beneficial effect of pomegranate fruit, juice or pills in people.”
The story includes the cost of pomegranate pills.
The story included critical analysis of claims of benefit, including the overview quote: “There’s no definitive clinical trial demonstrating a beneficial effect of pomegranate fruit, juice or pills in people.”
There are potential harms of the supplement including drug interactions with several common medications including antidepressants as listed in Medlineplus. A description of these potential harms can be found at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/392.html#Safety
So there are not only questions about benefits, there are very real harms to consider as well.
Excellent point-by-point evaluation of the evidence for claims made about purported benefits for the heart and for the prostate.
No disease-mongering here.
Good sourcing with independent experts and identification of company funding for one researcher.
The ending quote delivers an appropriate contextual wrapup: “If they’re part of an overall healthy diet, I don’t object,” (Dr. John Gordon Harold, cardiologist says), but I’m not sure the ends justify the means.”
The story could have reminded readers that there is evidence for how to reduce risk of heart disease, such as smoking cessation and exercise. Also, there are a variety of therapies for erectile dysfunction.
The availability of pomegranate-containing fruit and pills is clear in the story.
Not applicable. No claims of novelty were made.
Independent reporting throughout.