Pomegranate juice and cholesterol
Read the following text and test your understanding on the questions below.
Pomegranate juice helps maintain cholesterol and lipids levels.
Specific polyphenols punicalagin and ellagic acid, found in pomegranate juice were identified as having the beneficial effect on health
Maintenance of normal cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood.
A number of references provided but many of these addressed topics other than polyphenols in pomegranate/pomegranate juice and the claimed effect. These include narrative reviews on polyphenols, food composition, and human studies investigating the effects of polyphenols on anti-angiogenic potential, angiotensin converting enzyme activity, blood pressure, lipid oxidation, oxidative stress, platelet aggregation, or in relation to cancer prevention.
An uncontrolled intervention pilot study in 22 diabetic subjects was included where 40g of concentrated pomegranate juice was consumed per day for eight weeks and measures of cholesterol and other blood lipids were taken. These found significant changes in cholesterol and some other blood lipids.
Do you see the benefit in putting this claim on a product?
Do you think consumers would understand the wording of the claim?
Do you agree that the effect in question is likely to be beneficial for the general population?
What do you think about the level of evidence provided for the scientific substantiation?
You could consider:
- Were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in humans included
- Were the studies performed with the product/compound of interest?
- Were the measures of the health effect valid?
- Was there a dose-response relationship?
- Was there evidence provided for a mechanism by which the product/component has the effect?
- Only one uncontrolled human intervention pilot study was included.
- The pilot study used concentrated pomegranate juice but this was not compared with a placebo. No conclusions can be drawn from this small and uncontrolled study for the scientific substantiation of the claimed effect.
- The pilot study used measures of cholesterol and other blood lipids but no conclusions can be drawn from this small and uncontrolled study for the scientific substantiation of the claimed effect.
- No dose-response relationship was demonstrated.
- No mechanism of action was proposed.
Do you think the claim was given a positive opinion?