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'Pomegranate juice may cure impotence'

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What did the media say?

The media reported that a daily glass of pomegranate juice could help to beat erectile dysfunction, saying men who drank the juice for a month reported better performances in the bedroom – high antioxidant levels supposedly being the key.

What did the research show?

US researchers carried out a small randomised trial, involving 53 men aged 21 to 70 with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Although a trend was observed the study results did not reach significance.

Subjects were given either a daily glass of pomegranate or a placebo - 8fl oz with their evening meal - for four weeks, followed by a two week washout period, before crossing over to the other study arm for a further four weeks.

Researchers assessed patients using the International Index of Erectile Function and Global Assessment Questionnaires.

Of the 42 subjects who demonstrated improvement in GAQ scores after beverage consumption, the authors said 25 reported improvement after drinking pomegranate juice.

Overall statistical significance was not achieved for any link. However, the authors claimed the trend suggested larger cohorts and longer treatment periods might achieve statistical significance.

What did the researchers say?

Study author Dr Christopher Forest, a physician assistant at the Male Clinic in Beverly Hills, California, said: ‘Pomegranate juice has great potential in the management of erectile dysfunction.’

What does this mean for nursing practice?

International Journal of Impotence Research (2007) 19: 564–567

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