Aim: The fruit of the pomegranate (Punica granatum) has a high content of polyphenols and is renowned for its antioxidant capabilities. In particular, it is recognized as reducing oxidative stress and, therefore, playing a productive role in obstructing the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of consumingpomegranate juice (high in antioxidant content) and orange juice (low in antioxidant content) when combined with a hypocaloric diet on liver enzymes and the antioxidant status of patients.
Methods: In a randomized clinical trial, 65 patients who exhibited non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) at a mean age of 39+/-8 years received 250 mL pomegranate juice or orange juice per day as a substitute for two servings of fruit in a hypocaloric diet over a period of 12 weeks. The subjects' levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), malondialdehyde (MDA) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured at the beginning and end of the study.
Results: At the end of the study, the levels of liver enzymes and body mass index (BMI) had significantly decreased in both groups. A significant increase in TAC was also observed in the subjects in the pomegranate group (p <0.01).
Conclusion: Consumption of fruits that are high in antioxidants could represent a useful means to improve the antioxidant status of NAFLD patients who follow a hypocaloric diet.
Keywords: Diet; antioxidants; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; orange juice; pomegranate juice; punicaceae.