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Pomegranate – a powerful superfood with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

17th April 2007 by Arrow Durfee Posted in Uncategorized

Exotic Antioxidant Superfruits – Pomegranate: Review of current research
2007/03/30 – By Dr. Paul Gross –
View the complete article.

Review of current research

Below are 13 reports from late 2005 to present (PubMed; Ref. 3) on pomegranate as an antioxidant food source. Original abstracts from PubMed are provided followed by a synopsis for general consumers.

1. Mertens-Talcott SU, Jilma-Stohlawetz P, Rios J, Hingorani L, Derendorf H.
Pharmaceutics Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA.
Absorption, metabolism, and antioxidant effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum l.) polyphenols after ingestion of a standardized extract in healthy human volunteers.
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2006 Nov 15;54(23):8956-61.
Abstract. The intake of polyphenols has been demonstrated to have health-promoting and disease-preventive effects. The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), which is rich in several polyphenols, has been used for centuries in ancient cultures for its medicinal purposes. The potential health benefits of pomegranate polyphenols have been demonstrated in numerous in vitro studies and in vivo experiments. This study investigated the absorption and antioxidant effects of a standardized extract from pomegranate in healthy human volunteers after the acute consumption of 800 mg of extract. Results indicate that ellagic acid (EA) from the extract is bioavailable, with an observed C(max) of 33 ng/mL at t(max) of 1 h. The plasma metabolites urolithin A, urolithin B, hydroxyl-urolithin A, urolithin A-glucuronide, and dimethyl ellagic acid-glucuronide were identified by HPLC-MS. The antioxidant capacity measured with the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay was increased with a maximum effect of 32% after 0.5 h, whereas the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was not affected. The inflammation marker interleukin-6 (IL-6) was not significantly affected after 4 h after the consumption of the extract. Overall, this study demonstrated the absorbability of EA from a pomegranate extract high in ellagitannin content and its ex vivo antioxidant effects.
Synopsis. These authors examined the rate of absorption into human blood of ellagic acid extracted from pomegranate juice. Maximum blood levels of ellagic acid were reached in one hour after consumption and maximum antioxidant effect assessed by ORAC was reached in 30 minutes.

2. Pantuck AJ, Leppert JT, Zomorodian N, Aronson W, Hong J, Barnard RJ, Seeram N, Liker H, Wang H, Elashoff R, Heber D, Aviram M, Ignarro L, Belldegrun A.

Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095-1738, USA.

Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer.

Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;12(13):4018-26.

Abstract. PURPOSE: Phytochemicals in plants may have cancer preventive benefits through antioxidation and via gene-nutrient interactions. We sought to determine the effects of pomegranate juice (a major source of antioxidants) consumption on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression in men with a rising PSA following primary therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A phase II, Simon two-stage clinical trial for men with rising PSA after surgery or radiotherapy was conducted. Eligible patients had a detectable PSA > 0.2 and 0.05). After 3 months, the extent of stress-induced ischemia decreased in the pomegranate group (SDS -0.8 +/- 2.7) but increased in the control group (SDS 1.2 +/- 3.1, p

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3 Responses to “Pomegranate – a powerful superfood with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties”

  1. Arrow Durfee Says:

    Department of General Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Naples, 80134 Italy; Excellence Research Center of Cardiovascular Diseases, II University of Naples, Italy.

    Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis.

    Cardiovasc Res. 2007 Jan 15;73(2):414-23.

    Abstract. BACKGROUND: Atherosclerosis is enhanced in arterial segments exposed to disturbed flow. Perturbed shear stress increases the expression of oxidation-sensitive responsive genes (such as ELK-1 and p-CREB). Polyphenolic antioxidants contained in the juice derived from the pomegranate contribute to the reduction of oxidative stress and atherogenesis during disturbed shear stress. AIM OF THE STUDY: To evaluate the effects of intervention with the Pomegranate Fruit Extract (PFE) rich in polyphones (punicalagin, which is a potent antioxidant) on ELK-1, p-CREB, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression induced by high shear stress in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS: At the doses used in the study, both the PFE and the regular pomegranate juice concentrate reduced the activation of ELK-1 and p-CREB and increased eNOS expression (which was decreased by perturbed shear stress) in cultured human endothelial cells and in atherosclerosis-prone areas of hypercholesterolemic mice. PFE and pomegranate juice increased cyclic GMP levels while there was no significant effect of both compounds on the conversion of l-arginine to l-citrulline. Administration of these compounds to hypercholesterolemic mice significantly reduced the progression of atherosclerosis and isoprostane levels and increased nitrates. This protective effect was relevant with PFE. Vasomotor reactivity was improved and EC(25) values in response to Ach and NONOate were significantly increased in treated mice in comparison to controls. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that the proatherogenic effects induced by perturbed shear stress can be also reversed by chronic administration of PFE.

    Synopsis. There were 4 main findings of this study: punicalagin and pomegranate juice both 1) reduced the activities of oxidation-sensitive genes (meaning they inhibited activation of these genes); 2) increased activity of the enzyme that makes nitric oxide (nitric oxide synthase) which helps to relax arteries and increase blood flow; 3) reduced progression of high blood cholesterol and development of atherosclerosis; and 4) improved response of isolated blood vessels to dilator stimuli. Overall, the study indicates a role for pomegranate juice or punicalagin as a mediator of reduced oxidation and vascular relaxation in atherosclerosis.

    4. Kasai K, Yoshimura M, Koga T, Arii M, Kawasaki S.

    Research and Development Division, Kikkoman Corporation, 399 Noda, Noda, Chiba 278-0037, Japan.

    Effects of oral administration of ellagic acid-rich pomegranate extract on ultraviolet-induced pigmentation in the human skin.

    J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2006 Oct;52(5):383-8.

    Abstract. We performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to clinically evaluate the protective and ameliorative effects of ellagic acid-rich pomegranate extract on pigmentation in the skin after ultraviolet ray (UV) irradiation, using female subjects in their 20s to 40s. Thirteen healthy volunteers per group were randomly assigned to three groups; namely, high dose (200 mg/d ellagic acid), low dose (100 mg/d ellagic acid) and control (0 mg/d ellagic acid: placebo). Each group received the respective test foods for 4 wk. Each subject received a 1.5 MED (minimum erythema dose) of UV irradiation on an inside region of the right upper arm, based on the MED value measured on the previous day. Luminance (L), melanin and erythema values were measured before the start of the test food intake, and after 1, 2, 3 and 4 wk following the start of the test food intake. Further, questionnaires were conducted regarding the condition of the skin before the start of the test food intake and at the termination of the test food intake. As a result, decreasing rates of L values from the baseline in the low- and high-dose groups were inhibited by 1.35% and 1.73% respectively, as compared to the control group. Further, a stratified analysis using subjects with a slight sunburn revealed an inhibited decrease of L values compared with the control group at 1, 2 (p

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