Background: Transport of oxidized low-density lipoprotein across the endothelium into the artery wall is considered a fundamental priming step for the atherosclerotic process. Recent studies reported potential therapeutic effects of micronutrients found in natural products, indicating positive applications for controlling the pathogenesis of chronic cardiovascular disease driven by cardiovascular risk factors and oxidative stress. A particular attention has been recently addressed to pomegranate; however findings of clinical studies have been contrasting.
Purpose: To evaluate the effects of pomegranate consumption on plasma lipid concentrations through a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Methods: The study was designed according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement. Scopus and Medline databases were searched to identify randomized placebo-controlled trials investigating the impact of pomegranate on plasma lipid concentrations. A fixed-effects model and the generic inverse variance method were used for quantitative data synthesis. Sensitivity analysis was conducted using the one-study remove approach. Random-effects meta-regression was performed to assess the impact of potential confounders on the estimated effect sizes.
Results: A total of 545 individuals were recruited from the 12 RCTs. Fixed-effect meta-analysis of data from 12 RCTs (13 treatment arms) did not show any significant effect of pomegranate consumption on plasma lipid concentrations. The results of meta-regression did not suggest any significant association between duration of supplementation and impact of pomegranate on total cholesterol and HDL-C, while an inverse association was found with changes in triglycerides levels (slope: -1.07; 95% CI: -2.03 to -0.11; p = 0.029). There was no association between the amount of pomegranate juice consumed per day and respective changes in plasma total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C and triglycerides.
Conclusion: The present meta-analysis of RCTs did not suggest any effect of pomegranate consumption on lipid profile in human.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Cardiovascular risk; Flavonoids; Lipid profile; Pomegranate.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier GmbH.