Expectant mothers at risk of premature birth may want to consider drinking pomegranate juice to help their babies resist brain injuries from low oxygen and reduced blood flow, a new mouse study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests.
In humans, decreased blood flow and oxygen to the infant brain is linked to premature birth and other irregularities during pregnancy, birth and early development. The phenomenon, which is called hypoxia ischemia, causes brain injury in approximately 2 of every 1,000 full-term human births and in a very high percentage of babies born before 34 weeks of gestation. Hypoxic ischemic brain injury can lead to seizures, a degenerative condition known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, and mobility impairments including cerebral palsy.
When scientists temporarily lowered brain oxygen levels and brain blood flow in newborn mice whose mothers drank water mixed with pomegranate concentrate, their brain tissue loss was reduced by 60 percent in comparison to mice whose mothers drank sugar water or other fluids.
Michael C. Purdy | EurekAlert!
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