Skip to main content

Pomegranate Juice and Memory


This study will examine whether drinking pomegranate juice daily for 1 year will benefit cognitive abilities in middle-aged and older adults without dementia. Researchers predict that participants who drink pomegranate juice will show better cognitive performance than those who drink a placebo.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
50 Years 75 Years Both Yes
January 2014
May 2018

  • Normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment
  • Adequate seeing and hearing ability to allow neuropsychological testing
  • Screening laboratory tests and EKG without significant abnormalities that might interfere with the study; if tests show abnormalities, subject must obtain written clearance from primary care physician

  • Diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease or any other dementia
  • Evidence of other neurological or physical illness that can produce cognitive deterioration
  • History of stroke, transient ischemic attack, carotid bruits, or lacunes seen on MRI scan
  • Contraindication to MRI, including claustrophobia, metal in body, surgery within past 60 days, certain implants, or previous abnormal MRI results
  • Evidence of Parkinson's disease
  • History of myocardial infarction within the past year or unstable cardiac disease
  • Uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure > 170 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure > 100 mm Hg)
  • History of significant liver disease, clinically significant pulmonary disease, or diabetes
  • Current diagnosis of any major psychiatric disorder
  • Current diagnosis or history of alcoholism or substance addiction
  • Pregnancy
  • Regular use of any medication that may affect cognitive functioning, including: centrally active beta-blockers, narcotics, clonidine, anti-Parkinsonian medications, antipsychotics, systemic corticosteroids, medications with significant cholinergic or anticholinergic effects, anticonvulsants, or warfarin
  • Occasional use of anxiety or sleeping medications known to cause cognitive dulling will be allowed but discouraged: chloral hydrate; non-benzodiazepine hypnotics such as Ambien (zolpidem) or Lunesta (eszopiclone); benzodiazepines such as Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Restoril (temazepam)
  • Other prohibited medications: amitriptyline, amiodarone, desipramine, fenofibrate, flecainide, fluconazole, fluoxetine, fluvastatin, fluvoxamine, isoniazid, lovastatin, ondansetron, phenylbutazone, probenecid, sertraline, sulfamethoxazole, sulfaphenazole, teniposide, voriconazole, and zafirlukast; supplements such as ginkgo biloba or anything containing pomegranate or pomegranate juice

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: a treatment group that drinks 8 oz. (1 cup) of pomegranate juice daily for 1 year or a control group that drinks a placebo. All participants will undergo an initial clinical assessment, a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain, and a blood test to determine genetic risk and rule out other neurodegenerative disorders linked to memory complaints. Cognitive performance will be measured at 1, 6, and 12 months. The investigators believe that changes in cognition will vary according to a genetic risk for Alzheimer's.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
UCLA Longevity Center
Los Angeles California 90095

University of California, Los Angeles

  • POM Wonderful LLC

Name Role Affiliation
Gary Small, MD Principal Investigator UCLA Longevity Center

Name Phone Email
Anya Rosensteel 310-825-0545
Natacha Donoghue 310-206-7392


Twelve-Month, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Pomegranate Juice in Normal Aging