It is well understood that the regular consumption of polyphenols has health-promoting and disease-preventive effects (Mertens-Talcott, Jilma-Stohlawetz, Rios, Hingorani & Derendorf, 2006). The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), which contains several polyphenols, has been used since ancient times for its medicinal purposes. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of pomegranate juice can decrease amyloid load (amyloid plaques accumulate around the neurons in the brain of Alzheimer's patients), improve behaviour and decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (Hartman, Shah, Fagan, Schwetye, Parsadanian, Schulman, Finn & Holtzman, 2006).
In a recent study, Researchers from the University of Florida, investigated the absorption and antioxidant effects of standardised extract from pomegranate in healthy volunteers (Mertens-Talcott, Jilma-Stohlawetz, Rios, Hingorani & Derendorf, 2006). The results of this study found that an 800 mg pomegranate extract standardised to 330.4 mg of punicalagins, the major ellagitannins, and 21.6 mg of ellagic acid, given as an acute dose to 13 healthy volunteers, resulted in a 32 percent increase in anti-oxidant capacity measured with the oxygen radical absorbance capcity (ORAC) assay.
Hartman, R.E., Shah, A., Fagan, A.M., Schwetye, K.E., Parsadanian, M., Schulman, N., Finn, M.B. & Holtzman, D.M. 2006. Pomegranate juice decreases amyloid load and improves behaviour in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Disease, 24, 3, 506-515.
Mertens-Talcott, SU., Jilma-Stohlawetz, P., Rios, J., Hingorani, L. & Derendorf, H. 2006. Absorption, metabolism, and antioxidant effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum I.) polyphenols after ingestion of a standardised extract in healthy human volunteers. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 54, 23, 8956-8961.