Background: Punica granatum (pomegranate) is kind of a fruit consumed fresh or in beverage. It has been widely used in traditional medicine in various parts of the world. In this study, we examined the efficacy of a Punica granatum (PG) extract in protecting skin against UVB-induced damage using cultured human skin fibroblasts.
Methods: A Korean red PG sample was used, and its effects classified according to if the PG source originated from the rind, seed and fruit. The polyphenol content of PG, which is known to prevent other adverse cutaneous effects of UV irradiation, was measured by GC-MS. The protective effects of PG on UVB-induced skin photoaging were examined by determining the level of procollagen type I and MMP-1 after UVB irradiation.
Results: Based on the GC-MS quantitative analysis, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol, and equol were the predominant compounds detected in PG. In the changes of expression of procollagen type I and MMP-1 in UV irradiated human skin fibroblasts treated PG, especially extract prepared from rind, the synthesis of collagen was increased and the expression of MMP-1 was decreased.
Conclusion: The major polyphenols in PG, particularly catechin, play a significant role in its photoprotective effects on UVB-induced skin damage.