Pomegranate extract ameliorates cardiovascular risk factors, stress levels and improves quality of life. The decrease in insulin resistance could be of benefit to those who suffer from type2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome or obesity.
RESEACH TITLE: Pomegranate extract intake reduces CVD and diabetes risk factors, stress hormone levels and improves overall quality of life scores in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
CONDUCTED BY: Dietetics Nutrition & Biological Sciences Queen Margaret University Edinburgh United Kingdom
PUBLISHED ON: The FASEB Journal
Background and Aim: Pomegranates provide a rich and varied source of antioxidant biophenols. We have shown that pomegranate juice consumption may alleviate cardiovascular risk factors by reducing systolic and diastolic BP and exercise-induced oxidative stress. This study investigates the effect of pomegranate extract (PE) intake on BP, HOMA-IR, stress hormone and quality of life in human volunteers.
Methods: Healthy volunteers (7 males and 22 females) participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (BMI: 25.05±3.91kg/m², age: 34.5±13.7years). All subjects consumed either one pomegranate extract or placebo capsule daily, after a meal, for 4 weeks. Each pomegranate extract pomegranate extract capsule weighed 1.083g and contained 650mg of pomegranate extract (240mg punicalagins and 350mg total biophenols) plus 433mg maltodextrin. Dietary history and habits were recorded. Salivary cortisol and cortisone levels (AM, noon, PM) were assessed by sensitive ELISAs, and fasting blood was obtained at baseline and after 4 weeks to compare BP, glucose, insulin and insulin resistance.
Results: Systolic BP was significantly reduced following pomegranate extract from 120.3 ±13.3 to 115.6 ±13.1mmHg (P= 0.012). There was a reduction in the HOMA-IR levels from 2.22 ± 2.6 to 1.61 ± 1.9 (P=0.045), and glucose, insulin and uric acid all decreased from baseline. No significant changes were recorded in volunteers taking the placebo. Salivary cortisol levels (AM; p<0.001 and Noon; p=0.016), and cortisol/cortisone ratio (AM from 1.11±0.51 to 0.55±0.26, p<0.001, Noon 1.57±0.85 to 0.75±0.72, p<0.001 and PM; 1.22±0.9 to 0.74±0.59, p=0.011) were all reduced in the pomegranate extract group. Physical (p=0.018), social functioning (p=0.021), pain (p=0.003), general health (p=0.008) and overall QoL score (p=0.007) were improved in those taking pomegranate extract .
Conclusions: Pomegranate extract ameliorates cardiovascular risk factors, stress levels and improves quality of life. The decrease in insulin resistance could be of benefit to those who suffer from type2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome or obesity.