Absorption, metabolism, and antioxidant effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum l.) polyphenols after ingestion of a standardized extract in healthy human volunteers.
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The intake of polyphenols has been demonstrated to have health-promoting and disease-preventive effects. The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), which is rich in several polyphenols, has been used for centuries in ancient cultures for its medicinal purposes. The potential health benefits of pomegranate polyphenols have been demonstrated in numerous in vitro studies and in vivo experiments. This study investigated the absorption and antioxidant effects of a standardized extract from pomegranate in healthy human volunteers after the acute consumption of 800 mg of extract. Results indicate that ellagic acid (EA) from the extract is bioavailable, with an observed C(max) of 33 ng/mL at t(max) of 1 h. The plasma metabolites urolithin A, urolithin B, hydroxyl-urolithin A, urolithin A-glucuronide, and dimethyl ellagic acid-glucuronide were identified by HPLC-MS. The antioxidant capacity measured with the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay was increased with a maximum effect of 32% after 0.5 h, whereas the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was not affected. The inflammation marker interleukin-6 (IL-6) was not significantly affected after 4 h after the consumption of the extract. Overall, this study demonstrated the absorbability of EA from a pomegranate extract high in ellagitannin content and its ex vivo antioxidant effects.