Dra Rebeca Quirós-Fernández
La Paz University Hospital, Spain
Prof Emad Al-Dujaili
Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases are major causes of worldwide mortality. Scientists comment recent findings with standardised extracts from pomegranate and olive fruits.
Mediterranean fruit extracts
Plant-derived ingredients, typical of a Mediterranean-style diet, contribute to its documented cardiometabolic effects, mostly through polyphenols as from olives and pomegranates. Euromed proposes patented standardised extracts from these superfruits, obtained with water-only extraction technology. Research suggests their potential role in primary prevention. Dra Quirós-Fernández and Prof Al-Dujaili discuss their findings.
Cardiovascular health prevention: Spanish study
Dra. Quirós: we investigated the combined oral administration of two extracts rich in hydroxytyrosol (9,9 mg) and punicalagin (195 mg) from olives and pomegranates (Pomanox and Mediteanox), to apparently healthy middle-aged people. After 8 weeks of daily intake, compared to a placebo, participants showed significantly improved test results of crucial early warnings of the initial phase and in general, all phases of atherosclerosis. These warnings or markers, are for example a reduced efficiency of blood circulatory system (endothelial dysfunction), elevated circulating levels of harmful oxidised low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and pre-hypertension. The significant improvement was greater in subjects who initially showed alterations in such markers. Endothelial dysfunction and oxidised LDL cholesterol are key early atherosclerotic markers, even predicting future cardiovascular incidents both in apparently healthy and symptomatic subjects. Therefore, regular intake of these extracts could contribute to primary cardiovascular prevention.
Investigating health-promoting pomegranate extract
Prof Al-Dujaili: our group completed several randomised controlled studies in healthy volunteers with a specific pomegranate extract (Pomanox), focusing on the prevention of important risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Based on promising results, we are conducting further investigations. In line with literature, we found a consistent lowering of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. We detected other interesting properties. For instance, a 4 weeks study with the extract identified a significant decrease in insulin resistance, and glucose, insulin and uric acid all decreased from baseline. We also found a significant drop in salivary cortisol levels; additionally, Pomanox daily administration (210 mg punicalagin) improved Quality of Life questionnaires scores.
In summary, we have a reasonable proof of concept for further researching this extract on the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure, as it appears to reduce cardiovascular and diabetic risk factors, stress hormones, and improve health related quality of life.
Integrative dietary approach
While we can’t change risk factors as age, gender or genetics, we can make diet and lifestyle changes; however, obesity and poor lifestyle habits are major contributors to early mortality, mostly related to cardiovascular disease. Pomanox and Mediteanox are evidence-based, safe and well-characterised extracts that may provide valuable integrative options.
Sources: Euromed (Dermapharm group) is a phytopharmaceutical ingredients global supplier established in Spain in 1971.  Nutrients. 2019 Mar 16;11(3) |  EC Nutrition 2.4. (2015): 396-411