Ultimate Protector+ ingredients include pomegranate extract, as well as components from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article I will explore the ingredient pomegranate, which is a component of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.
SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend
SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40-50% polyphenols as well as 9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.
Polyphenols and Anthocyanins are powerful plant ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF POMEGRANATE
The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and was cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times. It is widely cultivated throughout India and the drier parts of southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies and tropical Africa. The tree was introduced into California by Spanish settlers in 1769.
For thousands of years, the pomegranate has been extensively used as a source of food and medicine. Full of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, pomegranate has been used to control body weight, reduce cholesterol, fight against cell damage, and inhibit viral infections. Pomegranate extracts have anti-bacterial effects.
Pomegranates are rich in ellagic acid, gallic acid, lignans, polyphenols and other bioactive compounds, and have been shown to lower blood pressure and enhance vascular function. Furthermore, it can offset some of the negative effects of medications and chemicals. These compounds occur naturally in its peel, seeds, leaf and juice. The seeds are high in p-coumaric acid, plant sterols, tannins and fatty acids. In addition to their antihypertensive effects, they may help reduce blood sugar levels.
Pomegranate fruit is a rounded berry with a thick reddish skin covering approximately 200–1400 white to deep red or purple seeds. Pomegranate seeds are edible and hold strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to their high content of hydrolysable tannins and anthocyanins. As compared to the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, β-carotene, and ascorbic acid, the pomegranate antioxidants appear unique due to combinations of a wide array of polyphenols, having a broader range of action against several types of free radicals. As compared to the recognized antioxidants in red wine and green tea, anthocyanins from pomegranate fruit possess significantly higher antioxidant activity.
Pomegranate has been used in various medicinal systems of medicine for the treatment and therapy of a multitude of diseases and ailments. In the ancient Indian medicinal system, i.e., in Ayurvedic medicine, the pomegranate was considered to be a whole pharmacy unto itself. It was recommended to be used as an antiparasitic agent and to treat diarrhea and ulcers. The medicinal properties of pomegranate have sparked significant interest in today’s scientific community as evidenced by the scientific research relating to health benefits of pomegranate that have been published in last few decades.
Studies have shown that pomegranate and its constituents can efficiently affect multiple signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cellular transformation, hyperproliferation, angiogenesis, initiation of tumorigenesis, and eventually suppressing the final steps of tumorigenesis and metastasis. The pomegranate constituents are shown to modulate transcription factors, pro-apoptotic proteins, anti-apoptotic proteins, cell cycle regulator molecules, protein kinases, cell adhesion molecules, pro-inflammatory mediators, and growth factors.
Pomegranate Chemical Constituents
The pomegranate fruit consists of white to deep purple seeds embedded in a white spongy astringent membrane surrounded by a thick reddish skin, or pericarp. Pericarp constitutes almost 50% of the fruit weight and is a rich source of bioactive constituents, such as phenolics, flavonoids, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidin compounds. It also contains various minerals, mainly potassium (K), nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), and sodium (Na), as well as complex polysaccharides. The remaining 50% of the fruit consists of seeds (constituting 10% of the fruit weight) and arils (constituting 40% of the fruit weight).
Pomegranate seeds hold strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to the high content of hydrolysable tannins (punicalagin, pedunculagin, punicalin, gallagic acid, ellagic acid, and esters of glucose) and anthocyanins (delphinidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-glucoside, delphinidin-3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside, pelargonidin-3,5-diglucoside, and pelargonidin-3-glucoside).
Various organic acids, such as ascorbic acid, citric acid, and malic acid, etc., are also reported to be present in the seed coat, while the arils contain water (85%), sugars (10%), mainly fructose and glucose, and pectin (1.5%). Arils are a rich source of bioactive compounds such as phenolics and flavonoids, principally anthocyanins.
Pomegranate seed oil consists of mainly conjugated linolenic acid. Interestingly, punicic acid, a conjugated isomer of linolenic acid found uniquely in pomegranate oil, constitutes 70%–76% of the seed oil. Sterols, steroids, and cerebroside, a key component of mammalian myelin sheaths, constitute the minor share of the seed oil.
Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of POMEGRANATE
Databases of scientific studies (like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database) contain thousands of up-to-date studies and abstracts about pomegranate.
We provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects of pomegranate.
Accumulating data clearly claimed that Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) has several health benefits. Pomegranates can help prevent or treat various disease risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, and inflammatory activities. It is demonstrated that certain components of pomegranate such as polyphenols have potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative effects. The antioxidant potential of pomegranate juice is more than that of red wine and green tea, which is induced through ellagitannins and hydrosable tannins. Pomegranate juice can reduce macrophage oxidative stress, free radicals, and lipid peroxidation. Moreover, pomegranate fruit extract prevents cell growth and induces apoptosis, which can lead to its anticarcinogenic effects. In addition, promoter inhibition of some inflammatory markers and their production are blocked via ellagitannins. In this article, we highlight different studies on the therapeutic effects of pomegranate and their suggested mechanisms of actions.
In vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities of punicalagin, ellagic acid and a total pomegranate tannin extract are enhanced in combination with other polyphenols as found in pomegranate juice.
Authors: Seeram NP1, Adams LS, Henning SM, Niu Y, Zhang Y, Nair MG, Heber D.Seeram NP1, Adams LS, Henning SM, Niu Y, Zhang Y, Nair MG, Heber D.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruits are widely consumed as juice (PJ). The potent antioxidant and anti-atherosclerotic activities of PJ are attributed to its polyphenols including punicalagin, the major fruit ellagitannin, and ellagic acid (EA). Punicalagin is the major antioxidant polyphenol ingredient in PJ. Punicalagin, EA, a standardized total pomegranate tannin (TPT) extract and PJ were evaluated for in vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities. Punicalagin, EA and TPT were evaluated for antiproliferative activity at 12.5-100 microg/ml on human oral (KB, CAL27), colon (HT-29, HCT116, SW480, SW620) and prostate (RWPE-1, 22Rv1) tumor cells. Punicalagin, EA and TPT were evaluated at 100 microg/ml concentrations for apoptotic effects and at 10 microg/ml concentrations for antioxidant properties. However, to evaluate the synergistic and/or additive contributions from other PJ phytochemicals, PJ was tested at concentrations normalized to deliver equivalent amounts of punicalagin (w/w). Apoptotic effects were evaluated against the HT-29 and HCT116 colon cancer cell lines. Antioxidant effects were evaluated using inhibition of lipid peroxidation and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assays. Pomegranate juice showed greatest antiproliferative activity against all cell lines by inhibiting proliferation from 30% to 100%. At 100 microg/ml, PJ, EA, punicalagin and TPT induced apoptosis in HT-29 colon cells. However, in the HCT116 colon cells, EA, punicalagin and TPT but not PJ induced apoptosis. The trend in antioxidant activity was PJ>TPT>punicalagin>EA. The superior bioactivity of PJ compared to its purified polyphenols illustrated the multifactorial effects and chemical synergy of the action of multiple compounds compared to single purified active ingredients.
Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 7;6:34246. doi: 10.1038/srep34246.
Pomegranate extract decreases oxidative stress and alleviates mitochondrial impairment by activating AMPK-Nrf2 in hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Authors: Sun W1,2, Yan C3, Frost B4, Wang X5, Hou C3, Zeng M3, Gao H2, Kang Y2, Liu J3.
High blood pressure, or “hypertension,” is associated with high levels of oxidative stress in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. While pomegranate extract is a known antioxidant that is thought to have antihypertensive effects, the mechanism whereby pomegranate extract lowers blood pressure and the tissue that mediates its antihypertensive effects are currently unknown. We have used a spontaneously hypertensive rat model to investigate the antihypertensive properties of pomegranate extract. We found that chronic treatment of hypertensive rats with pomegranate extract significantly reduced blood pressure and cardiac hypertrophy. Furthermore, pomegranate extract reduced oxidative stress, increased the antioxidant defense system, and decreased inflammation in the paraventricular nucleus of hypertensive rats. We determined that pomegranate extract reduced mitochondrial superoxide anion levels and increased mitochondrial function in the paraventricular nucleus of hypertensive rats by promoting mitochondrial biogenesis and improving mitochondrial dynamics and clearance. We went on to identify the AMPK-nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway as a mechanism whereby pomegranate extract reduces oxidative stress in the paraventricular nucleus to relieve hypertension. Our findings demonstrate that pomegranate extract alleviates hypertension by reducing oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function in the paraventricular nucleus, and reveal multiple novel targets for therapeutic treatment of hypertension.
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 177;
Pomegranate for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer: An Update
1 Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
2 Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and those who survive cancer may experience lasting difficulties, including treatment side effects, as well as physical, cognitive, and psychosocial struggles. Naturally-occurring agents from dietary fruits and vegetables have received considerable attention for the prevention and treatment of cancers. These natural agents are safe and cost efficient in contrast to expensive chemotherapeutic agents, which may induce significant side effects. The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit has been used for the prevention and treatment of a multitude of diseases and ailments for centuries in ancient cultures. Pomegranate exhibits strong antioxidant activity and is a rich source of anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and hydrolysable tannins. Studies have shown that the pomegranate fruit as well as its juice, extract, and oil exert anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-tumorigenic properties by modulating multiple signaling pathways, which suggest its use as a promising chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agent. This review summarizes preclinical and clinical studies highlighting the role of pomegranate in prevention and treatment of skin, breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers.
Pomegranates are an important fruit full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.
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