By Max Clarke

Frazzled British workers are being thrown a lifeline with the news that a glass of pomegranate juice per day will deliver a measurable reduction in their stress hormone levels.

A recent study found that 41% of British workers claim to be stressed or very stressed in their jobs. Researchers at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh studied the physiological effect of daily consumption of 500ml of Pomegreat Pure pomegranate juice over a two-week period. Sixty volunteers from a range of working environments took part in the study.

The study found that daily consumption caused a significant reduction in the level of stress hormone cortisol in saliva and a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in all volunteers. Cortisol (hydrocortisone) is a steroid hormone, or glucocorticoid, produced by the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress.

Volunteers also showed an improvement in arterial health as measured by pulse wave velocity.

Volunteers were also assessed on mood status using a specialist test. After consumption of pomegranate juice most subjects reported that they were more enthusiastic, inspired, proud and active and all reported that they were less distressed, nervous, guilty and ashamed according to the attributes tested.

The full results of the study will be presented at an international conference in Barcelona in October.

Research Scientist, Dr Emad Al-Dujaili who led the study said: “On the basis of these findings there is a justified argument for busy workers to drink pomegranate juice to help alleviate chronic stress and maintain good health.”

“There is a growing body of evidence that pomegranate juice delivers wide-ranging health benefits that merit further research. It is very rare indeed for an all-natural juice to offer the range of health benefits that we are seeing in pomegranate juice.”

A recent study by the charity Mind found that stress is prevalent in the British workforce, with 41% of respondents describing themselves as currently stressed or very stressed in their jobs. Two-thirds said they had been put under more pressure by management since the economic downturn.

An earlier study by Queen Margaret University researchers found that pomegranate juice may redistribute weight around the body, moving flab away from bellies and muffin tops.

The study showed a significant reduction in plasma NEFA (a measure of blood composition) following 4-week consumption of Pomegreat pure fruit juice in 11 out of 19 subjects. A reduction in plasma NEFA may indicate a reduction in waist circumference.