The influence of pomegranate fruit extract in comparison to regular pomegranate juice and seed oil on nitric oxide and arterial function in obese Zucker rats

Nitric Oxide. 2007 Aug;17(1):50-4. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2007.04.005. Epub 2007 May 5.


Metabolic syndrome includes most widely distributed clinical conditions such as obesity, hypertension, dislipidemia, and diabetes. Pomegranate fruit extract (PFE), rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, reduces the expression of oxidation-sensitive genes at the sites of perturbed shear-stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of PFE in comparison to regular pomegranate juice (PJ) and seed oil on the biological actions of nitric oxide (NO) and the arterial function in obese Zucker rats, a model of metabolic syndrome. Our results indicated that supplementation with PFE or PJ significantly decreased the expression of vascular inflammation markers, thrombospondin (TSP), and cytokine TGFbeta1 (P<0.05), whereas seed oil supplementation had a significant effect only on TSP-1 expression (P <0.05). Plasma nitrate and nitrite (NO(x)) levels were significantly increased by PFE and PJ (P<0.05). Furthermore, the effect of PFE in increasing endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) expression was comparable to that of PJ. These data highlight possible clinical applications of PFE in metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Arteries / drug effects*
  • Beverages
  • Female
  • Lythraceae / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / chemistry
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Nitroprusside / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Zucker
  • Thrombospondins / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thrombospondins
  • Nitroprusside
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Acetylcholine