Pomegranate Oil Helps Reduce Fat and Improve Liver Health

Jim Crocker
16th April, 2024

Pomegranate Oil Helps Reduce Fat and Improve Liver Health

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a study from Anhui University, pomegranate seed oil (PSO) reduced obesity-related blood fats in mice
  • PSO also decreased liver fat and inflammation, improving liver health
  • The oil improved gut bacteria balance and intestinal barrier function
Obesity and its associated complications, such as hyperlipidemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), are major health concerns worldwide. Recent research from Anhui University[1] has shed light on a promising natural remedy that could help tackle these issues: punicic acid (PA), a key component of pomegranate seed oil (PSO). The study focused on the effects of PSO on mice fed a high-fructose high-fat diet (HFHFD) for 13 weeks, a diet designed to induce obesity-related hyperlipidemia and NAFLD. The results were promising: PSO supplementation significantly reduced blood levels of triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), which are key markers of hyperlipidemia. But the benefits of PSO didn't stop there. The oil also decreased the accumulation of fat in the liver and reduced liver inflammation, as evidenced by lower levels of pro-inflammatory mediators like IL-6 and IL-1β, and an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. This is particularly relevant considering previous findings that metabolic diseases, including obesity and hyperlipidemia, account for a significant number of premature deaths globally[2]. Moreover, PSO was found to combat oxidative stress in the liver, increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes and the levels of glutathione (GSH), while decreasing the content of malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of oxidative damage. These findings align with earlier research highlighting the anti-oxidative properties of punicic acid, which have been shown to be beneficial in the context of neurodegenerative diseases[3]. The researchers also discovered that PSO could influence the gut microbiota, the community of microorganisms living in our intestines. PSO improved the balance of these microorganisms, increasing the proportion of Muribaculaceae and decreasing the ratio of Blautia. It also boosted levels of microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which play a role in maintaining gut health and metabolism. Additionally, PSO helped restore the expression of tight junction proteins in the colon, which are crucial for the integrity of the intestinal barrier. A compromised intestinal barrier can lead to increased inflammation and metabolic disturbances, so maintaining its function is vital for overall health. The study also explored the molecular mechanisms behind these effects, finding that PSO inhibited the activation of two signaling pathways in the liver associated with inflammation and metabolic disorders: TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB and TLR4/IL-22/STAT3. These results are exciting because they suggest that PSO, and by extension punicic acid, could be a potent nutraceutical ingredient for managing lipid metabolic disorders. This is especially pertinent given the projected increase in obesity-related mortality, which is expected to contribute to the largest number of deaths by 2050[2]. The significance of this study lies not only in its potential to provide a natural solution to a growing global health problem but also in its contribution to our understanding of the complex interactions between diet, gut microbiota, and metabolic health. While further research, including human trials, is needed to confirm these findings and determine the appropriate dosages, PSO could soon become a key player in the fight against obesity and its associated diseases.



Main Study

1) Punicic acid ameliorates obesity-related hyperlipidemia and fatty liver in mice via regulation of intestinal flora and lipopolysaccharide-related signaling pathways.

Published 15th April, 2024


Related Studies

2) The global syndemic of metabolic diseases in the young adult population: A consortium of trends and projections from the Global Burden of Disease 2000-2019.


3) Punicic Acid and Its Role in the Prevention of Neurological Disorders: A Review.


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