- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D.
Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck is a native of Germany, where he received his medical education at the Westfalian Wilhelm University in Munster and became board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.
He also received a Ph.D. in biophysics and physiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Behrenbeck joined the Mayo Clinic staff in 1990 and is currently an associate professor at Mayo Medical School and an academic faculty member at the Westfalian Wilhelm University. He is the past chair of the Cardiovascular Medicine & Surgery NetWork of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Dr. Behrenbeck is a noninvasive cardiologist, specializing in cardiovascular (CV) imaging modalities (echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and CT), coronary artery disease and prevention of coronary artery disease. His research interests are the application of imaging technology to early recognition and treatment of atherosclerosis. He is passionate about patients' involvement in their health issues.
"The Internet and patient education present ideal synergies in the ever-growing field of knowledge in cardiology," he says.
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Lifestyle and home remedies (4)
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Pomegranate juice: Can it lower cholesterol?
Can drinking pomegranate juice help lower my cholesterol?
from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.
It's unclear whether drinking pomegranate juice can lower cholesterol. But, it's thought that pomegranate juice could block or slow the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries when you have persistent, elevated levels of fats (lipids) in your blood and other risk factors associated with heart disease.
Like many fruit juices, pomegranate juice contains antioxidants, especially polyphenols. What's more, pomegranate juice contains antioxidants at higher levels than do other fruit juices. Antioxidants are thought to provide several heart-protecting benefits, including reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol.
Pomegranate juice is generally safe to drink if certain facts are first considered. If you choose to drink pomegranate juice, check the label to be sure that you're drinking pure pomegranate juice, and not a mixture of juices that contains added sugar. The sugar adds more calories to the juice, which reduces its heart-health benefits.
As you should do with any herbal or dietary supplement, talk to your doctor about pomegranate juice before you start drinking it regularly as a supplement. Pomegranate juice may cause dangerous side effects when it interacts with certain prescription medications, such as the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, including captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec) and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), and others.Next question
MUFAs: Why should my diet include these fats?
- Stowe CB. The effects of pomegranate juice consumption on blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2011;17:113.
- Basu A. Pomegranate juice: A heart-healthy fruit juice. Nutrition Reviews. 2009;67:49.
- Davidson MH, et al. Effects of consumption of pomegranate juice on carotid intima-media thickness in men and women at moderate risk for coronary heart disease. American Journal of Cardiology. 2009;104:936. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Komperda KE. Potential interaction between pomegranate juice and warfarin. Pharmacotherapy. 2009;29:1002.
- Pomegranate. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com.. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Behrenbeck T (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 6, 2011.