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Front Pharmacol. 2018 May 24;9:544. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00544. eCollection 2018.

Vasculoprotective Effects of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.).

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzebiec, Poland.
2
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
3
Institute of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
4
Izmir International Biomedicine and Genome Institute, Dokuz Eylul University, Health Campus Balcova, Izmir, Turkey.
5
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine.
6
Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia.
7
Research Institute of Biotechnology and Medical Converged Science, Dongguk University-Seoul, Goyang, South Korea.
8
Pharmaceutical Institute, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
9
Department of Molecular Design and Biochemical Pharmacology, Institute of Molecular Biology "Roumen Tsanev", Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.
10
Department of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research, Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), one of the oldest known edible fruits, is nowadays broadly consumed throughout the world. Its fruits and seeds as well as other anatomical compartments (e.g., flowers and leaves) are rich in numerous bioactive compounds and therefore, the scientific interest in this plant has been constantly growing in recent years. It has been shown that pomegranate and its extracts exhibit potent antioxidative, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic properties. The present review summarizes some recent studies on pomegranate, highlighting mainly its vasculoprotective role attributed to the presence of hydrolyzable tannins ellagitannins and ellagic acid, as well as other compounds (e.g., anthocyanins and flavonoids). These in vitro and in vivo studies showed that substances derived from pomegranate reduce oxidative stress and platelet aggregation, diminish lipid uptake by macrophages, positively influence endothelial cell function, and are involved in blood pressure regulation. Clinical studies demonstrated that daily intake of pomegranate juice lessens hypertension and attenuates atherosclerosis in humans. Altogether, the reviewed studies point out the potential benefits of a broader use of pomegranate and its constituents as dietary supplements or as adjuvants in therapy of vascular diseases, such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and peripheral artery disease.

KEYWORDS:

antioxidant; blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; pomegranate; vasculoprotective

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