Shocking, isn’t it? How can one of the tastiest fruits have any ill effects? Though pomegranates are generally safe and extremely nutritious, some individuals may face certain undesirable effects. Which is what we will cover in this post. Keep reading.
1. May Cause Allergies
This is the most serious of all side effects of pomegranates. Though rare, pomegranate allergies can be life-threatening. Please take the sign of any allergy seriously.
Symptoms of these allergies include itching, swelling, irritation in the throat, stomach pain, and hives. In severe cases, one may experience shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing, swelling of the throat and tongue, and even anaphylactic shock.
In one study, a patient had developed swelling of the ears, erythema (reddening of the skin), and itching just within 10 minutes of pomegranate ingestion. Further investigation found she was allergic to apples and birch pollen (1).
2. Can Interact With Certain Drugs
This is another serious side effect. Pomegranate can interact with certain medications and cause undesirable side effects. These include the following (please check with your doctor on these):
- Medications changed and broken down by the liver, like amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), fluoxetine (Prozac), ondansetron (Zofran), tramadol (Ultram), rosuvastatin (Crestor), etc.
- Medications for high blood pressure, like ACE inhibitors (Capoten, Vasotec, Prinivil, Altace, Zestril, etc.) and antihypertensive drugs (Diovan, Cozaar, Cardizem, Lasix, etc.).
Reports published in the Harvard Medical School also suggest that pomegranate can inhibit the action of an enzyme important for drug metabolism (2).
If you are on any form of medication, please check with your doctor if you can take pomegranate. This is especially important if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.
3. May Lower Blood Pressure Way Too Much
Studies show pomegranates can lower blood pressure levels (3). This is good news for most people. But individuals with low blood pressure or uncontrolled fluctuations in blood pressure levels must stay away from pomegranates.
This is one reason pomegranate may cause issues during surgery as well. Hence, stop pomegranate intake at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
4. May Cause Allergies During Pregnancy
There is insufficient information on this. Though the juice could be safe, there is not enough research on the safety of other forms of pomegranate. If you have any history of allergic reactions better to avoid or check with your doctor or midwife.
These are some of the probable ill effects of pomegranates. In case you face any allergies post consuming pomegranates, here is what you can do.
What To Do If You Face Allergies
Firstly, stop eating the fruit. Medical care is a must. But until you visit the doctor, you can make use of some quick remedies.
If your symptoms involve a skin condition, do not rub or scratch the area. Also, don’t wash for long with soap or water as it will only irritate the area further. Gently apply a skin lotion or ointment – this helps maintain skin moisture. Also, change to loose-fitting clothing.
In case of other severe reactions, please rush to the doctor right away. Look out for other symptoms like chest pain, drowsiness, confusion, fainting, and wheezing.
Pomegranate is one of the most nutritious fruits. But if you are one of those individuals that might be allergic to it, be cautious.
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- Anaphylactic reactions to pomegranate: identification and characterization of eliciting IgE-reactive components, Clinical and Translational Allergy, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effects of Pomegranate on Drug Metabolizing Cytochrome P450 Enzymes Expressions in Rats, Global Veterinaria, ResearchGate.
- 3.Effects of pomegranate juice on blood pressure, Pharmacological Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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