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Nitric Oxide. 2007 Aug;17(1):50-4. Epub 2007 May 5.

The influence of pomegranate fruit extract in comparison to regular pomegranate juice and seed oil on nitric oxide and arterial function in obese Zucker rats.

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Department of General Pathology and Excellence Research Center on Cardiovascular Diseases, Complesso S. Andrea delle Dame, Via de Crecchio 7, 1st School of Medicine, II University of Naples, Naples 80138, Italy.


Metabolic syndrome includes most widely distributed clinical conditions such as obesity, hypertension, dislipidemia, and diabetes. Pomegranate fruit extract (PFE), rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, reduces the expression of oxidation-sensitive genes at the sites of perturbed shear-stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of PFE in comparison to regular pomegranate juice (PJ) and seed oil on the biological actions of nitric oxide (NO) and the arterial function in obese Zucker rats, a model of metabolic syndrome. Our results indicated that supplementation with PFE or PJ significantly decreased the expression of vascular inflammation markers, thrombospondin (TSP), and cytokine TGFbeta1 (P<0.05), whereas seed oil supplementation had a significant effect only on TSP-1 expression (P <0.05). Plasma nitrate and nitrite (NO(x)) levels were significantly increased by PFE and PJ (P<0.05). Furthermore, the effect of PFE in increasing endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) expression was comparable to that of PJ. These data highlight possible clinical applications of PFE in metabolic syndrome.

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