Occurrence in other plants
As the chemistry of punicalagins became known it was found to be not unique to pomegranate. Punicalagins are present in numerous species of the genus Terminalia, species chebula Retz. (“Fructus Chebulae”), myriocarpa, catappa and citrina (tropical flowering trees historically used in African traditional medicine for antiobiotic and antifungal purposes). They have also been isolated from Cistus salvifolius (a Mediterranean shrub) and Combretum molle (an African shrub).
Extracts and health effects
A few dietary supplements and nutritional ingredients are available that contain extracts of whole pomegranate and/or are standardized to punicalagins, the marker compound of pomegranate. Extracts of pomegranate are also 'Generally Recognized As Safe' (GRAS) by the United States. It has been recommended[who?] to look for pomegranate ingredients that mimic the polyphenol ratio of the fruit, as potent synergistic effects have been observed in 'natural spectrum' extracts, especially pomegranate concentrate normalized to punicalagins.
A pomegranate extract standardized to punicalagins marketed under the name Pomella was found to absorb into the bloodstream after consumption in humans. A maximum 32% increase in plasma antioxidant status measured by ORAC was also noted in this study.
Pomegranate fruits natural phenols can be extracted with ethyl acetate and fractionation can afford the ellagitannin punicalagins. The substance was found to be active against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains.
Pomegranate ellagitannins may have an impact on human gut flora, inhibiting the growth of pathogenic clostridia and Staphylococcus aureus, while probiotic lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are generally not affected by ellagitannins. Urolithins are microflora human metabolites produced from ellagic acid derivatives.
Punicalagins are the largest molecules found intact in rat plasma after oral ingestion and were found to show no toxic effects in rats who were given a 6% diet of punicalagins for 37 days. Punicalagins are also found to be the major component responsible for pomegranate juice's antioxidant and health benefits.
List of compounds
- Pedunculagin, a compound found in the pericarp of the pomegranate (Punica granatum).
- Punicacortein A, a compound found in the bark of P. granatum and in Osbeckia chinensis
- Punicacortein B, a compound found in the bark of P. granatum
- Punicacortein C, a compound found in the bark of P. granatum
- Punicacortein D, a compound found in the bark and heartwood of P. granatum
- Punicafolin, a compound found in the leaves of Punica granatum
- Punigluconin, a compound found in the bark of P. granatum and in Emblica officinalis
- Punicalagin, a compound found in the pericarps of P. granatum
- Punicalin, a compound found in pomegranates or in the leaves of Terminalia catappa
- Granatin A, a compound found in the pericarp of P. granatum
- Granatin B, a compound found in the fruit of P. granatum
- Diellagic acid rhamnosyl (1→4) glucopyranoside
- 5-O-galloylpunicacortein D
- Casuarinin, a compound found in the pericarp of P. granatum
- Gallagyldilactone, a compound found in the pericarp of P. granatum
- Corilagin, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum and other species
- Strictinin, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
- other phenolics
- Ellagic acid, a constitutive compound of ellagitannins
- Gallagic acid, a compound found in many ellagitannins
- 1,2,4,6-tetra-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
- 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum and the common precursor of gallotannins and the related ellagitannins
- Brevifolin, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
- Brevifolin carboxylic acid, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
- 3,6-(R)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-(α/β)-C-glucopyranose, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
- 1,2,6-tri-O-galloyl-β-C-glucopyranose, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
- 1,4,6-tri-O-galloyl-β-C-glucopyranose, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
- 3,4,8,9,10-pentahydroxydibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one, a compound found in the leaves of P. granatum
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