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OBJECTIVE - Oxidative stress and systemic inflammation are highly prevalent in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) and are linked to excess cardiovascular risk. This study examined whether short-term supplementation with pomegranate juice and extract is safe and well tolerated by MHD patients. The secondary aim was to assess the effect of pomegranate supplementation on oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, monocyte function, and blood pressure.
DESIGN - Prospective, randomized, crossover, pilot clinical trial (NCT01562340).
SETTING - The study was conducted from March to October 2012 in outpatient dialysis facilities in the Seattle metropolitan area.
SUBJECTS - Twenty-four patients undergoing MHD (men, 64%; mean age, 61 ± 14 years) were randomly assigned to receive pomegranate juice or extract during a 4-week intervention period. After a washout period, all patients received the alternative treatment during a second 4-week intervention period.
INTERVENTION - Patients assigned to receive pomegranate juice received 100 mL of juice before each dialysis session. Patients assigned to receive pomegranate extract were given 1,050 mg of extract daily.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - The main outcome measures were safety and tolerability of pomegranate juice and extract. Additional secondary outcomes assessed included serum lipids, laboratory biomarkers of inflammation (C-reactive protein and interleukin 6) and oxidative stress (plasma F2 isoprostanes and isofurans), monocyte cytokine production, and predialysis blood pressure.
RESULTS - Both pomegranate juice and extract were safe and well tolerated by study participants. Over the study period, neither treatment had a significant effect on lipid profiles, plasma C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, F2-isoprostane or isofuran concentrations, predialysis systolic or diastolic blood pressure nor changed the levels of monocyte cytokine production.
CONCLUSIONS - Both pomegranate juice and extract are safe and well tolerated by patients undergoing MHD but do not influence markers of inflammation or oxidative stress nor affect predialysis blood pressure.
Copyright © 2015 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pomegranate seed oil (PSO), which is the major source of conjugated linolenic acids such as punicic acid (PuA), exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating disease associated with severe and excessive intestinal inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of orally administered PSO on the development of NEC, intestinal epithelial proliferation, and cytokine regulation in a rat model of NEC. Premature rats were divided into three groups: dam fed (DF), formula-fed rats (FF), or rats fed with formula supplemented with 1.5% of PSO (FF + PSO). All groups were exposed to asphyxia/cold stress to induce NEC. Intestinal injury, epithelial cell proliferation, cytokine production, and trefoil factor 3 (Tff3) production were evaluated in the terminal ileum. Oral administration of PSO (FF+PSO) decreased the incidence of NEC from 61 to 26%. Feeding formula with PSO improved enterocyte proliferation in the site of injury. Increased levels of proinflammatory IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-23, and TNF-α in the ileum of FF rats were normalized in PSO-treated animals. Tff3 production in the FF rats was reduced compared with DF but not further affected by the PSO. In conclusion, administration of PSO protects against NEC in the neonatal rat model. This protective effect is associated with an improvement of intestinal epithelial homeostasis and a strong anti-inflammatory effect of PSO on the developing intestinal mucosa.