Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pomegranate - a Cosmeceutical Ingredient

Pomegranate fruits have been cultivated since historic times as symbols of fertility, royalty,
hope and abundance. Its herbal use dates back to more than 300 years. Celebrated in art,
mythology, religious texts and literature for centuries. Some have suggested that it was
pomegranate, not an apple that led to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of
Eden. The pomegranate probably originated in Iran and Afghanistan and was brought to
China a century and a half before the Christian era. The pomegranate tree leaf, in the
Zoroastrian religion is considered as the representative of the vegetable world which
supplies sustenance to man and much used in rituals and domestic observances.

Pomegranate is freely sold in the United States as a fruit juice. Grocery store pomegranate
juices are not usually standardized and a large part of the price you pay goes to cover the
cost of shipping the heavy glass bottles, which contain mostly water. A recent profusion of
pomegranate nutraceutical products, "standardized to 40% ellagic acid," has appeared in
the marketplace. The beneficial neutraceutical properties of Pomegranate are due to the
synergy among the various pomegranate fractions and phytochemicals and not simply the
concentration of ellagic acid. It is considered undesirable to design and engineer
pomegranate nutraceutical products to maximize the concentration of a single
phytochemical. UK-based Reading Scientific Services (RSSL) has now developed a reliable
test based on ellagic acid, which can be used to indicate the pomegranate concentration.
Ellagic acid is a dimer of gallic acid and an extremely common plant phenolic with anticancer
and antioxidant benefits.

The specific trienoic fatty acid and a major component of Pomegranate Seed Oil is Punicic
acid. Punicic acid potently inhibits prostaglandin biosynthesis and contributes to the total
anti-inflammatory potential of pomegranate. Chemical name 9Z, 22E, 13Z-octadeca-9, 11,
13-trienoic acid.
In recent years there has been an increase in use of botanicals with antioxidant properties
as skin photo protective agents. Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit has been
extensively used in traditional medicine in various parts of the world. Pomegranate fruit possesses strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a rich source of many
phenolic compounds, which include flavanoids such as anthocyanins, anthocyanidins,
catechins and other complex flavanoids, ellagitannins and hydrolyzable tannins such as
punicallin, pendunculagin, punicalagin, gallagic and ellagic esters of glucose. Whole fruit
extract has been standardized to provide the biologically active punicalagins that are unique
to pomegranate. Studies have shown that pomegranate juice possesses antiproliferative,
antiatherogenic, antiinflamatory and antitumoriogenic effects. These effects of
pomegranate-derived products appear to be attributable to its free radical scavenging and
antioxidant properties.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.