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J Med Food. 2008 Jun;11(2):390-4. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2007.650.

Pomegranate juice and extracts provide similar levels of plasma and urinary ellagitannin metabolites in human subjects.

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Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles California, USA.


Pomegranate juice (PJ), a rich source of polyphenols including ellagitannins, has attracted much attention due to its reported health benefits. This has resulted in the consumption of liquid and powder pomegranate extracts as alternatives to PJ. Therefore establishing the bioavailability of polyphenols from these extract preparations is necessary. Sixteen healthy volunteers sequentially consumed, with a 1-week washout period between treatments, PJ (8 ounces, Wonderful fruit variety), a pomegranate polyphenol liquid extract (POMxl, 8 ounces), and a pomegranate polyphenol powder extract (POMxp, 1,000 mg). The three interventions provided 857, 776, and 755 mg of polyphenols as gallic acid equivalents, respectively. Plasma bioavailability, judged based on ellagic acid levels over a 6-hour period, did not show statistical differences in area under the curve for the three interventions: 0.14 +/- 0.05, 0.11 +/- 0.03, and 0.11 +/- 0.04 micromol . hour/L for PJ, POMxl, and POMxp, respectively. The time of maximum concentration was delayed for POMxp (2.58 +/- 0.42 hours) compared to PJ (0.65 +/- 0.23 hours) and POMxl (0.94 +/- 0.06 hours). Urolithin-A glucuronide, a urinary metabolite of ellagic acid, was not significantly different with the three interventions, reaching levels of approximately 1,000 ng/mL. This study demonstrates that ellagitannin metabolites, delivered from pomegranate fruits, as PJ, POMxl, and POMxp, reach equivalent levels with a delay in time of maximum concentration of POMxp compared to PJ and POMxl.

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