Olive plus pomegranate extracts may improve blood lipids levels: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

The new study examined the potential cardiovascular benefits of punicalagin, a compound found in pomegranates, and hydroxytyrosol, a compound found in olives.   Image © Tom Merton / Getty Images
The new study examined the potential cardiovascular benefits of punicalagin, a compound found in pomegranates, and hydroxytyrosol, a compound found in olives. Image © Tom Merton / Getty Images

Related tags Pomegranate punicalagin hydroxytyrosol olives Heart health cardiovascular health Cholesterol levels Mediterranean diet

Supplementation with a combination of hydroxytyrosol from olives and punicalagin from pomegranates may reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in adults, says a new study.

Data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial indicated that consumption of the hydroxytyrosol-punicalagin combination for eight weeks also led to significant increases in HDL-cholesterol levels.

“The daily intake of a supplement containing [hydroxytyrosol] (9.9 mg) and [punicalagin] (195 mg) for 8-weeks was shown to improve dyslipidemia in an adult population with metabolic disorders,”​ reported the researchers in the journal Nutrients​.

“Therefore, the regular consumption of a supplement composed of [hydroxytyrosol] and [punicalagin] may reduce the [cardiovascular] risks that these subjects face.”

The study used the commercial Pomalive​-branded ingredient from Barcelona-based Euromed S.A. The trial was supported by the Euromed S.A. group through the HENUFOOD project.

Study details

Scientists from Hospital University La Paz in Madrid, Spain and Euromed recruited 84 men and women aged between 45 and 65. The participants all had abnormal blood lipid levels (dyslipidemia) and were randomly assigned to either placebo or the combination of hydroxytyrosol from a standardized olive fruit extract (Mediteanox​ by Euromed) plus punicalagin from a standardized pomegranate fruit extract (Pomanox​ P30 by Euromed).

Participants consumed the supplement or placebo for eight weeks, then took no intervention for four weeks (a so-called ‘washout’ period) before crossing over to the other group.

Results showed that the Pomalive supplement was associated with significant reductions in triglyceride (TG) levels in people with high triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia), with average decreases from 201 mg/dL at the start of the study to 155 mg/dL after eight weeks, while no decreases were observed when taking the placebo.

The hydroxytyrosol-punicalagin combination was also associated with significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol levels in people with high plasma levels of LDL-C, with average decreases from 179 mg/dL to 163 mg/dL after eight weeks.

HDL-cholesterol levels also improved as a result of the hydroxytyrosol-punicalagin supplement, while HDL levels deteriorated during the placebo phase.

“The improvements in dyslipidemia observed with the administration of only these bioactive compounds are of great importance since atherogenic dyslipidemia (abnormal changes in the plasma lipid profile, such as a decrease in HDL-C levels and increase in TG and LDL-C levels) is strongly associated with [atherosclerotic vascular disease] and the progression of [cardiovascular] complications,”​ wrote the scientists.

They called for future studies to confirm the favorable effects of this hydroxytyrosol-punicalagin combination.

Source: Nutrients
2022, 14​(9), 1879; doi: 10.3390/nu14091879
“Oral Supplement Containing Hydroxytyrosol and Punicalagin Improves Dyslipidemia in an Adult Population without Co-Adjuvant Treatment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled and Crossover Trial”
Authors: R. Quirós-Fernández et al.

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