Over the last twenty years, pomegranates have increasingly been recommended for their extensive array of therapeutic properties and applications. Now, at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy and Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, lead researcher Dr. Hang Ma, PhD and team are studying what the fruit’s extracts can do for skin—both young and old1.
Recognized for its incredible antioxidant powers, the pomegranate contains a particularly remarkable group of antioxidants that stand out above the rest. They are called punicalagins, and Dr. Ma says they may provide significant protection against ultraviolet light and skin damage.2 UV radiation is a primary cause of skin damage, and it can also lead to immunosuppression and inflammatory responses. In regards to the visible signs of premature aging, even modest amounts of UVA and UVB exposure can accelerate oxidative stress, glycation, and eventually handicap the ability of cells to properly process and respond to collagen degradation.3 The good news is that pomegranates display natural antioxidant properties, exhibit an ability to facilitate collagen cellular signaling, and even inhibit protein glycation.4-5
Pomegranates also contain a special class of micronutrients known as polyphenols that work through the digestive system to support skin health from the inside out.6 Particularly unique to the pomegranate fruit, the ellagitannin punicalagin plays an integral role in promoting healthy gut florae, which in turn, directly influence skin condition and strength.7 This link between skin and nutrition is called the skin-gut axis. Although more research is required to fully understand this relationship, scientists believe that interactions observed in the gut-brain axis make a good representation for how the gut also communicates with skin.8 In other words, gut microbiota may hold the key to regulating skin health and function.
However, not all pomegranate extracts are created equal—and according to Dr. Ma and researchers, Pomella® Extract can deliver a wide assortment of health benefits, such as offering prebiotic effects to promote a healthy skin-gut axis, and an optimal percentage of punicalagins to help protect maturing skin from UV damage and unwanted pigmentation.1
1 Kheradia N and S Cropper. Nutraingredients.com, William Reed Business Media Ltd., 5 Nov. 2018, www.nutraingredients.com/Product-innovations/Skin-Gut-Axis-The-Potential-of-Pomella-R.
2 Pacheco-Palencia LA et al. Protective effects of standardized pomegranate (Punica granatum L) polyphenolic extract in ultraviolet-irradiated human skin fibroblasts. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jul 18. EPub 2008 Aug 22. DOI: 10.1021/
3 Cai A et al. Pomegranate phenolics inhibit type I collagen cross-linking induced by glycative stress.FASEB J. 2018 Apr. 32(1): 656.35.
4 Dorsey, Pamela Garner, Ronald B. Pegg, Xiaoxi Liao, and Phillip Greenspan. "Inhibition of Non-Enzymatic Protein Glycation by Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Whole Fruit and Its Components." Journal of Food Chemistry & Nanotechnology03, no. 04 (2017). doi:10.17756/jfcn.2017-047.
5 Aslam M et al. Pomegranate as a cosmeceutical source: pomegranate fractions promote proliferation and procollagen synthesis and inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-1 production in human skin cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006. 103(3): 311-318 .
6 Farid M, et al. Chapter 63 - Polyphenols against skin aging. Polyphen Human Health Dis. Academic Press. 2014. 819-830. ISBN 9780123984562. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-398456-2.00063-3
7 Bowe WP and AC Logan. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis - back to the future? Gut Pathogens. 2011 Jan. Vol 3(No 1):1-11. doi:10.1186/1757-4749-3-1
8 Yuan T et al. Pomegranate’s neuroprotective effects are mediated by urolithins, its ellagitannin-gut microbial derived metabolites. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2015 Nov 11. DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00260