Is pomegranate juice healthy?

Pomegranate juice, 8 oz:

Sugars, total 31.50 g

Sucrose 0.00 g

Glucose (dextrose) 15.64 g

Fructose 15.86 g

In your quest to increase the flavonoids in your diet, do you overexpose yourself to fructose?

Remember: Fructose increases LDL cholesterol, apoprotein B, small LDL, triglycerides, and substantially increases deposition of visceral fat (fructose belly?). How about a slice of whole grain bread with that glass of pomegranate juice? The Heart Association says it's all low-fat!

(Coming on the Track Your Plaque website: A full in-depth Special Report on fructose in all its glorious forms and whether this is truly an issue for your health. Fructose tables and the scientific data to establish a safe "threshold" value will be included.)

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Comments (20) -

  • Anonymous

    7/19/2009 1:45:42 PM |

    all should keep in mind that 4 grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.  31 grams is 7 teaspoons plus; not exactly what one would think in what is promoted to be a healthful product!

  • John

    7/19/2009 2:15:04 PM |

    Like most juices, pomegranate juice just has too much sugar.  There is a reason why a juice glass is very small!

    I don't buy pomgrante juice anymore, and when I did I would water it down.  100% is very expensive too.

    Another thing about pomegranate juice, people might be surprised to find that many of them are not 100% pomegranate, but a blend of several juices.

  • Andrew

    7/19/2009 3:59:34 PM |

    At what point do the positive health benefits of pomegranate outweigh the bad parts of fructose?

  • Tom

    7/19/2009 4:20:58 PM |

    Thanks for your great blog! Your information on wheat and sugar is a must read for anyone serious about their health. I like your blog so much, I added a link to it at my blog at

  • Anonymous

    7/19/2009 6:07:12 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    Are you implying that there is no difference between a glass of Kool-ade and a glass of fresh Orange Juice?

    IMO, the problem is not fructose. The problem is highly refined sugar sources that are isolated from their highly complex natural matrix of fiber, vitamins, minerals, flavanoids, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids--all which act in synergy together.

    That's why PJ reduced atherosclerosis by 35% compared to control group, lowered BP by 20%, increased antioxidant status, and did not raise blood sugar.

    (FYI, I happen to have heterozygous FH and drink daily one full glass of PJ along with one full glass of concord grape juice, and 97% of my LDL particle size remains large, my blood sugar is perfect, and my apo B is not too high. I do avoid refined sugars and carbs, however.)

    So please, Dr. Davis, don't compare an apple with a candy bar.

  • AJ

    7/20/2009 4:52:14 AM |

    Guava juice used to be my particular poison - literally speaking. But it's just not worth the hit to my metabolism. It's been awhile since I last drank any fruit juice and it will be never before I drink it again.

    It's an uphill battle to get people to realise the dangers of fructose, particularly when food manufacturers are allowed to put "No sugar added" on the label. Have them put the grammes of sugars the whole bottle contains on the front of the container in large bright type. It won't stop everyone, but it may help a few people make healthier choices.

  • JC

    7/20/2009 10:55:48 AM |

    Pomegranate juice more than triples PSA doubling time.Is that significant?

  • Peter

    7/20/2009 1:56:43 PM |

    I like to dilute the pomegranate juice with vodka.  That way I only use a couple of ounces of juice at a time, minimizing the fructose but still getting some flavanoids.  Of course once the long term study on this regimen comes out I may have to revise my view.

  • Dr. William Davis

    7/21/2009 3:28:52 AM |

    It's the same flawed logic of "healthy whole grains": If it contains something good (B vitamins, fiber), then it must be good. And it must be even better when consumed in greater quantities.

    Just because it contains one or two desirable ingredients doesn't mean that the entire "package" is desirable,

  • niner

    7/21/2009 5:00:09 AM |

    There's always pomegranate extracts.  You can get the polyphenols in a pill without all the sugar.  I'd be interested in what Dr. D thinks about this form of "sugar-free pomegranate".

  • JC

    7/21/2009 11:19:40 AM |

    Dr Davis,What about the research on pomegranate juice and PSA doubling time?

    Can you also comment on the reported benefits of cranberry juice in preventing urinary infection?


  • Jonathan Byron

    7/21/2009 3:12:18 PM |

    You are absolutely right that fruit can contain large amounts of fruit sugar, and that large amounts of fructose can have serious consequences. The idea that fruit juice must be good (in any quantity) is not supported by the evidence.

    But fruits are more than sugar and moderate amounts of fruits and fructose are not inherently bad - the question is what is reasonable. For those of us with fatty liver, certain patterns of dyslipidemia, or a GI fructose intolerance, the ideal amount is very low. For those who don't fall into that category, the ideal amount of fruit is somewhat greater (but probably less than most people assume).

  • Anna

    7/22/2009 10:22:04 PM |

    I can't remember the last time I saw someone outside my household drink juice from a small juice glass.  Most people I see drinking juice are consuming quantities of juice that practically rival a 7-Eleven Big Gulp.

    Many days I squeeze a half orange to make a couple ounces of OJ to mix with cod liver oil to make the CLO palatable for my young son.  

    To fill a 4 oz juice glass (with about 3-3.5 oz juice), it takes 1-2 oranges, which means that larger glasses of OJ contain the sugar of a whole lot of oranges!  Who would ever eat that many whole oranges in one sitting?

    Also, I know from using a glucose meter that OJ sugar is nearly instantly into my blood stream (and that isn't even measuring the affect of the fructose portion of sugars.  The glucose spikes an insulin response and later a nasty feeling low BG.  So I approach fruit juices with extreme caution and limitations on both quantity and frequency.  I eat whole lower sugar fruits in extreme moderation (avoiding higher sugar tropical fruits).  I focus more on non-starchy veggies rather than fruit, anyway, because veggies are high in the nutrients I want without the excess sugar that fruit has.        

    Not long ago I was in waiting in line at a Starbucks to order an Americano (lack of local coffee shops at that particular suburban area) and right next to me a dad was reading aloud to his young daughter the number of grams of sugar from her “fresh-squeezed 100% fruit juice” bottle label. He noted incredulously there were 30-something grams of sugars per serving and there were 2.5 servings per bottle. He said  â€œwow, that’s a lot of sugar in that bottle”. I thought to myself, wow, here’s a dad who is “getting it”, so I said to him, “there’s 4 grams of sugar to a teaspoon, so that’s at least 7-9 teaspoons of sugar per serving, very nearly the sugar content in soda.”

    His response was, “but it’s fruit sugar, and she doesn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, so I guess that’s ok.” Sigh. I let it go, and ordered my Americano (unsweetened).

    I've had many interesting conversations with a glycobiologist colleague of my husband's.  He has confirmed I'd be wise to keep all sources of fructose intake to a minimum, as well as being especially wary of concentrated sources of fructose.    I'm sure he follows his own advice; he's looks at least 15 years younger than his 60 years - lack of AGEing, I guess.

  • trinkwasser

    7/29/2009 6:04:30 PM |

    Tell this stuff to a dietician and they won't believe you "but it's low fat!"

    My BG meter tells me fruit juice is an exceedingly toxic substance, and most of my once favourite fruits aren't much better.

    Fortunately it permits me to eat a few berries, but I'd rather get my bioflavinoids etc. from vegetables.

    IMO there's a balancing point between the beneficial and non-beneficial properties of many foods, we probably evolved to deal with small acute doses of toxins but fall apart with chronic exposure to high levels of the same stuff, and all the bioflavinoids and vitamins don't outweigh the damage.

    I just stuffed some strawberries in my face following my lamb chops and runner beans, but only a few, and I washed them down with a fine Bordeaux, that'll about achieve a balance.

  • Barrry

    2/22/2010 12:58:33 PM |

    i have been using Pomegranate juice for 3 years every day after i had 2 stents placed. i also had type 2 diabetes. It has worked very well for me and has not effected my A1c in the least. My cardilogical nuclear studies have been perfect. i am a believer my opinion this stuff can save your life.

  • EMR

    2/24/2010 1:33:43 PM |

    ink it should be avoided by sugar patients.It contains almost a spoon of sugar...though with wheat bread the whole effect of the meal is balanced.

  • Anonymous

    3/8/2010 3:03:37 PM |

    Quit being sugar paranoid.

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 3:09:20 PM |

    Remember: Fructose increases LDL cholesterol, apoprotein B, small LDL, triglycerides, and substantially increases deposition of visceral fat (fructose belly?). How about a slice of whole grain bread with that glass of pomegranate juice? The Heart Association says it's all low-fat!