Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pomegranate extract stimulates uterine contractions

Date:
January 28, 2010
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists have found that a naturally occurring steroid, present in pomegranate seed, could be used to stimulate uterine contractions.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool and the Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, have found that a naturally occurring steroid, present in pomegranate seed, could be used to stimulate uterine contractions.

Related Articles


The team identified beta-sitosterol -- a steroid that can inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine -- as the main constituent of pomegranate seed extract. The research suggests that pomegranate extract could be used as a natural stimulant to encourage the uterus to contract during labour.

Pomegranate juice is thought to have a number of health benefits, from lowering cholesterol and blood pressure to protecting against some cancers, but until now there has been no evidence to demonstrate its effects on the uterus. Researchers investigated pomegranate seed extract -- more highly concentrated than pomegranate juice -- and its effect on uterine smooth muscle samples.

Professor Sue Wray, from the University's Department of Physiology, said: "Previous study has suggested that the pomegranate's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have a positive impact on health. We wanted to understand its effect on uterine contractions to help us explore new ways of treating women who may experience difficult labours. Currently the only available drug to treat women with a poorly contracting uterus is oxytocin, a hormone which only works approximately 50% of the time.

"It is important for us to investigate how the uterus works and what happens when it does not contract normally so that women experiencing problems during labour do not have to undergo major surgery to deliver a healthy baby."

Dr Sajeera Kupittayanant, from Suranaree's Institute of Science, explains: "We found that beta-sitosterol was the main constituent of pomegranate extract, a steroid present in many plant species, but particularly rich in pomegranate seed. We added the extract to uterus tissue samples from animals and found that the muscle cells increased their activity. Our work suggests that the increase is due to a rise in calcium, which is necessary in order for any muscle to contract, but is usually affected by hormones, nerve impulses and some drug treatments.

"The next step is to investigate how beta-sitosterol in pomegranate extract could increase calcium, but it could prove to be a significant step forward in identifying new ways of treating dysfunctional labour."

The research, published in Reproductive Sciences, will support work being conducted at a new centre dedicated to improving experiences in pregnancy and childbirth for women across the world. The Centre for Better Births will bring together researchers and clinicians to improve understanding in areas such as premature labour, recurrent miscarriage and prolonged labour.

Note: Researchers used pomegranate seed extract, which is more highly concentrated than pomegranate juice. More research is needed to understand if eating the fruit or drinking its juice has any impact on uterine contractions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Pomegranate extract stimulates uterine contractions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127095916.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2010, January 28). Pomegranate extract stimulates uterine contractions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127095916.htm
University of Liverpool. "Pomegranate extract stimulates uterine contractions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127095916.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins