The world has had an interesting relationship with Pomegranates. Humans have been eating them for thousands of years, but in the last twenty there’s been a resurgence. In the five years from 2007 to 2012, the number of US Pomegranate farms doubled, and in 2015 alone the market saw nearly 60 new Pomegranate products added to shelves.
With all the popularity, I wasn’t too surprised to see that one of our best-rated testosterone boosters had Pomegranate in its ingredients. But does the Pomegranate actually do anything? That’s what I set about to find out.
What You Need to Know
How Antioxidants Work
Antioxidants are so called because they prevent something called oxidation. I’m not trying to repeat words here, but it’s important to separate out the main idea: oxidation is a process of breaking down cell material in the presence of oxygen. You can sort of think about it like a rusty bike chain. All of our cells are complicated, moving pieces of material that, when exposed to too much oxygen, begin to erode and rust up.
Eventually, like a bike chain, our cells simply break down and stop working.
Antioxidants, then, can have dozens of beneficial health outcomes. That’s why Harvard Medical recently named Pomegranate its “fruit of the month.” But what about testosterone?
Antioxidants and Male Health
In general, there is strong data to suggest the antioxidants in their general forms have testosterone benefits, but we have to be careful with correlations. Pomegranate has a unique chemical makeup, and not every antioxidant can perform the same functions.
The earliest research I could find linking Pomegranates specifically to testosterone was done all the way back in 2008, and published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study was to determine if the antioxidant benefits extended to fertility in men. Not only did the scientists confirm the hypothesis that antioxidants from Pomegranate could improve things like sperm motility and density, but the study also showed a boost in testosterone.
Years later, a random in-person trial was conducted, and published by the Society for Endocrinology (study of hormones). This study showed that drinking Pomegranate juice improved blood pressure, mood, and increased testosterone by 24% in both men and women. It’s important to note that the testosterone increase was also statistically significant against placebo results, and the testosterone was saliva tested–in other words, that ever-elusive “free testosterone” everyone’s looking for.
Of course more recent research has been conducted, this time again on lab animals, and this data corroborates previous research–a strong testosterone benefit after taking Pomegranate supplementation. We do have some outlier data, however, that’s important to take note of. For instance, in one review of prostate cancer prevention, a team of researchers found no change in testosterone levels after Pomegranate use.
These data don’t contradict the previous studies, but they should be taken into account. Below we’ll look at some rather bizarre testosterone-Pomegranate studies, and see if they apply to the everyday man.
It’s All Relative
Because we’re all about giving you the most up-to-date and honest science there is, I have to include a study done just last year that showed a decrease in blood testerone after taking Pomegranate juice. But I mention it with a few caveats.
First, in the discussion of their own findings, the researchers weren’t able to come to a firm conclusion about whether circulating testosterone 3 minutes after a deadlift is a good thing or a bad thing. My second caveat is that there were only nine participants, and thirdly, they were all elite weightlifters. I’m in fairly good shape, but are any of us “elite”? If not, then these findings may not apply to us, very well.
Another case of relativity is that of breast cancer research. Yes, in women. As it turns out, a lot of testosterone research is done in the context of breast cancer, because excess testosterone in older women leads to something called aromatase, which converts T into estrogen. Some women then end up with excess estrogen, which sadly can lead to breast cancer.
I bring this up because Pomegranate has been studied to prevent this aromatase function in women, and the study was successful: women taking Pomegranate were able to keep their testosterone from converting to estrogen. Now, like with elite weight lifters, there’s no guarantee that these findings will apply to a man taking a T-Booster, but if aromatase is a reason a person is losing total T, then this might be helpful.
Last we have some extreme studies that, thankfully, were conducted on laboratory animals. In one lab study, scientists exposed poor Wistar rats to carbon tetrachloride, a chemical found in cleaners and propellants. The good news for the rats was that Pomegranate reduced the testicular and testosterone damage done by the chemical. In another study, some even less fortunate animals suffered testicular torsion (which is exactly what it sounds like); again, Pomegranate helped reduce the damage to testes tissue.
Finding where we fit in, as individuals, can be difficult enough. Reading scientific studies about breast cancer and rodent testicular torsion makes it next to impossible. Thankfully, there has been some research done on taking a simple drink of Pomegranate juice and measuring saliva testosterone. In these middle ground studies, it seems there is some evidence that Pomegranate can improve testosterone. While individual studies have shown some outlier data, that shouldn’t dissuade anyone from trying Pomegranate out for themselves, either in a product like TestoPrime, or on its own.