According to a recent study, a naturally occurring steroid found in pomegranate seed extract may be able to stimulate uterine contractions and could help women who experience difficulty during labor.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool and the Suranaree University of Technology in Thailand found that beta-sitosterol, the main constituent of pomegranate extract, was able to increase the muscle activity of tissue cells found in the uterus. The team believes that the increase is due to a rise in calcium, which is necessary for any muscle to contract.
"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 labor," said lead researcher Sajeera Kupittayanant.
She added that there is only one drug that is currently being used to treat women who experience difficulty during labor, and that it only works approximately 50 percent of the time.
It should be noted that the researchers used the fruit’s seed extract, which has a significantly higher level of concentration than pomegranate juice. Further study is needed to understand whether drinking pomegranate juice will have an impact on uterine contractions.