This is really the first clinical study (we’ve ever seen) that looks at pomegranate seed oil as a treatment to help ease hot flashes. Researchers had 81 women who had experienced lots of hot flashes and gave half pomegranate seed oil while half got a placebo that didn’t have any extract of pomegranate seed.
Pomegranate is high in phyto-estrogens that mimic estrogen, and we know that estrogens reduce hot flashes, but also have many adverse side effects.
The result of the study: the two groups of women actually both had significant reduction of their hot flashes. How is that possible?
It appears both groups of women saw reduced symptoms from something commonly known as the placebo effect, where people believe they are receiving an active treatment but they actually are not. But in this study, there was not a significant difference between the people who took the pomegranate seed oil and the people who took placebo.
To be exact, researchers saw a 13% difference between groups, but since they had small numbers in the study (only 81 women), our concern is there could be a small difference but maybe they just didn’t have enough people to actually show it statistically.
At this point, we think if you’ve been taking pomegranate seed oil and you feel like it’s helpful, then we don’t necessarily recommend stopping it, but we wouldn’t, as physicians, recommend this to our patients otherwise just yet- check back when we see more research.