Pomegranate extracts show joint and skin health potential

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Pomegranate extracts show joint and skin health potential
Punicalagins from pomegranate may offer benefits for joint and skin health by inhibiting the activity of enzymes that break collagen, according to data from cell and animal studies.

Scientists from the University of Rhode Island report that punicalagins inhibited select matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which degrade collagen. The compounds may also reduce inflammation.

Among the MMPs, MMP-13 is believed to have a greater catalytic efficiency toward type II collagen, which is a key process in cartilage destruction and the development of conditions like arthritis.

New data published in Chemico-Biological Interactions​, punicalagin isolated from a commercial pomegranate fruit extract (Pomella, provided by Verdure Sciences) was found to inhibit MMP-13 in cell studies, and to reduce inflammation in the paws of rats with arthritis when given via intraperitoneal injection at a dose of 50 mg/kg for 14 days.

“While the administration of punicalagin in the current study was delivered via the intraperitoneal route, future studies whereby punicalagin is administered orally are warranted,”​ wrote the researchers, led by Navindra Seeram, PhD. “The oral route of administration is common for botanical dietary supplements and is a more physiologically-relevant delivery route that would also account for first-pass metabolic transformation of punicalagin into potentially active metabolites.”

The study was welcomed by Blake Ebersole, Technical Director at Verdure Sciences, which provided the Pomella pomegranate extract used in the study. “This study adds to scores of previous studies showing punicalagins to be the primary active components in pomegranate extracts and juices,”​ said Ebersole. “The finding that punicalagins protect collagen in multiple ways is a very interesting and unique finding, and shows promise for application in both joint and skincare products.”

Source: Chemico-Biological Interactions
Volume 205, Issue 2, Pages 90-99, doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2013.06.018
“Inhibitory effects of polyphenol punicalagin on type-II collagen degradation in vitro and inflammation in vivo”
Authors: D. Jean-Gilles, L. Li, V.G. Vaidyanathan, R. King, B. Cho, D.R. Worthen, C.O. Chichester III, N.P. Seeram

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