What is Pomegranate Extract?
Pomegranates are round fruits with a spongy inner membrane (mesocarp) packed with juicy seeds (arils). Pomegranates can contain between 200 and 1400 seeds and range in size from a lemon to a grapefruit. The husk and seeds of a pomegranate are a red-purple color, and the juice often leaves a permanent stain on clothing. The name comes from the medieval Latin words for apple (pōmum) and seeded (grānātum).
What is Ellagic Acid?
Pomegranates have a tart flavor due to their low pH level and high polyphenol content. Ellagitannins, also known as punicalagins, are polyphenols with potent antioxidant properties. Once consumed, the body metabolizes them into another antioxidant compound called ellagic acid. The name ellagic acid comes from the French term acide ellagique, which derives from the word galle spelled in reverse. The reversal is a nod to plant galls, a source of ellagic acid, and to distinguish the compound from the French term for gallic acid, acide gallique.
PureBulk's pomegranate extract is standardized to at least 40% ellagic acid.
Potential Benefits of Pomegranate Extract (40% Ellagic Acid)
Pomegranate Extract as an Antioxidant
Antioxidants fight and protect cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are a normal part of human biology, but too many of them can damage cells and lead to chronic health problems. Ellagic acid is a natural phenolic antioxidant that protects fatty acids and other lipids from damage by inhibiting hydroxyl radicals from stealing electrons. It’s also an effective free radical scavenger, and it may inhibit the spread and growth of unhealthy cells.
Pomegranate Extract as an Anti-Inflammatory
Too many free radicals cause oxidative stress and contribute to long-term inflammation. Inflammation is also a common side effect of free radical damage. Chronic inflammation damages health and can cause or worsen numerous health conditions. Ellagitannins have shown anti-inflammatory effects in animal studies, as has pomegranate extract in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Another study found that pomegranate’s active compounds reduced several biochemical markers of inflammation, including prostaglandin E2 and interleukin.
Reducing inflammation has several other potential health benefits. Reducing inflammation and oxidative stress promotes heart health by supporting artery function and inhibiting plaque buildup. It also exerts neuroprotective effects, as oxidative stress and inflammation worsen certain neurological conditions.
Pomegranate Extract and Exercise Endurance
Pomegranate extract may increase how long individuals can work out before they become tired. For example, one study found that taking pomegranate extract before working out increased participants’ time to exhaustion by 12%. Another study found that pomegranate extract also assisted with recovering from workouts.
Pomegranate Benefits for Skin
As an antioxidant, pomegranate extract can protect skin from prematurely aging due to free radical damage, oxidative stress, and UV exposure. Pomegranate extract is also able to defend skin from the photodamage by neutralizing UV radicals and inhibiting UV rays from penetrating the skin. It also improves the skin’s resilience against damaging UVB rays. Pomegranate extract may help with skin pigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure as well.
Potential Side Effects of Pomegranate Extract
Pomegranate extract is generally safe, as it is a natural plant extract. Human and animal studies have reported no side effects from taking pomegranate extract. Ellagic acid may interact with P450 enzymes and inhibit the metabolism of certain medications, including blood thinners, statins, or antipsychotics. Speak with a medical professional before starting any new supplements.
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