Pomegranate (Punica granatum, Punicaceae) is native to Persia, and is currently cultivated in the Mediterranean countries, Afghanistan, India, China, Japan, Russia and some parts of the U.S.
Steeped in religion and medicine, pomegranate has a long history, and was a part of religious beliefs and practices of most ancient religions. Pomegranate seeds are said to number 613 – one for each of the Bible’s 613 recommendations.
Legends hold that each pomegranate contains one seed that has come down from Paradise!
The plant is botanically unique, having actually just one true botanical relative, the pomegranate precursor, Punica protopunica, restricted to the isolated island Socorta, off the coast of Yemen. Corresponding to its botanical uniqueness is a parallel distinctiveness in terms of biochemistry.
Pomegranate has long been recognized as the richest plant source of the female steroid hormone estrone and recently the male hormone testosterone and another female steroid, estriol, have also been discovered in pomegranate seed oil.
A wide range of polyphenolic compounds including flavonoids, anthocyanins have been characterized both in pomegranate juice and pericarp. The seeds produce a unique oil, about 80% of which is composed of the rare fatty acid, punicic acid, a conjugated form of linolenic acid.
Also present in the oil is the isoflavone, genistein, the phytoestrogen coumestrol and the sex steroid estrone. In fact, pomegranate is one of the only plants in nature known to contain estrone.
Pomegranate juice contains 0.2 to 1.0% soluble polyphenols, and include many anthocyanins such as cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside, delphindine-3-glucoside, pelargonidins (which give the fruit and juice its red color), and hydrolyzable tannins, such as punicalin, pedunculagin, punicalagin, gallic acid and ellagic acid esters of glucose, which together account for 92% of the antioxidant activity of the whole fruit.
The antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice is higher than those of red wine and green tea.In humans, pomegranate juice consumption decreasd LDL susceptibility to aggregation and retention, and increased the activity of serum paraoxonases (the enzyme uniquely expressed in HDL that protects LDL from oxidation) by 20%.
In E0 mice, oxidation of LDL by peritoneal macrophages was reduced by up to 90% after pomegranate juice consumption, and this effect was associated with reduced cellular lipid peroxidation and superoxide release. The beneficial effect of pomegranate in atherosclerosis probably arises from its antioxidative action.
Administration of pomegranate to healthy humans had no significant effect on the plasma lipid profile. However, significant and substantial reduction in progression of atherosclerotic lesions was noted. The ability of pomegranate to attenuate platelet activation may also contribute to its antiatherogenic effect. Pomegranate polyphenols were shown to reduce the capacity of macrophages to oxidatively modify the LDL.
Consumption of pomegranate juice for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduced the common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation, and these effects could be related to the antioxidant property of pomegranate polyphenols.These effects also were found beneficial in diabetic patients.
A recent study suggests that pomegranate juice may have cancer chemopreventive as well as cancer chemotherapeutic effect against prostate cancer in humans. Pomegranate fruit extract treatment of highly aggressive human prostate cancer PC3 cells resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth/viability and induction of apoptosis.
Oral administration of the extract to athymic nude mice resulted in significant inhibition of tumor growth. Pomegranate juice, fermented pomegranate juice, aqueous pericarp extract, seed oil, and polyphenol fractions obtained from the above extracts were studied for their effect on human breast cancer cells.
The polyphenols from the respective extracts inhibited aromatase activity by 60-80%. In both MCF-7 (estrogen-dependent) and MB-MDA-231 (estrogen-independent) cells, fermented juice polyphenols consistently showed about twice the antiproliferative effect as fresh pomegranate juice polyphenols.
Pomegranate seed oil effected 90% inhibition of proliferation of MCF-7 cells. Pomegranate seed oil, rich in punicic acid, exhibits chemopreventive effects in experimental colon carcinogenesis. Colon cancer was induced in F344 rats with azoxymethane (AOM).
The oil at doses of 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0% reduced significantly the multiplicity of adenocarcinoma. This anticancer effect was shown to be due to the enhanced expression of PPAR- V.
Physiological activation of PPAR-? may prevent cancer by modification of cell growth and regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).Punicic acid in the oil is apparently converted to 9c, 11t-18:2, the active component of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
CLA is known to act as a high affinity ligand and activator of PPAR-a and PPAR- V and the anticancer activity of CLA may partly be attributed to PPAR-V activation in susceptible tumors.
Thus, the chemopreventive effect of pomegranate seed oil may arise from the metabolic conversion of punicic acid to CLA. The oil was found more effective at low doses (0.01 and 0.1%) than at higher doses.
POMEGRANATE EXTRACT (PFE-020 A)
This extract is prepared from dried fruits of pomegranate
|Product name||Pomegranate extract|
|Product code||PFE – 020 A|
|Colour and appearance||Pale brown to deep brown free flowing powder|
|Polyphenol content||40% minimum (UV method)|
|Ellagic acid(After hydrolysis)||15 – 20% (UV method)|
|Bulk density(Gm/ml)(Tapped)||0.60– 0.90|
|Bulk density(Gm/ml)(Untapped)||0.40 – 0.70|
|Moisture content||Below 6%|
|Total heavy metals||Less than 10 ppm|
|Lead||Less than 5 ppm|
|Total plate count (CFU/GM)||1000 maximum|
|Yeast and Mould (CFU/GM)||100 maximum|
|Packing||25kg HM-HDPE container with polythene inner lining|
|Storage||Keep in air tight containers and in inert atmosphere at ambient temperature|
|Shelf life||24 months|