Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2009
Publication Date: 8/25/2009
Citation: Bialonska, D., Kasimsetty, S.G., Schrader, K., Ferreira, D. 2009. The Effect of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Byproducts and Ellagitannins on the Growth of Human Gut Bacteria. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57:8344-8349. Interpretive Summary: Compounds found in a commercial pomegranate by-product were tested for their toxicity towards the various bacteria found in the human gut. Some of the compounds tested were found to inhibit the growth of bacteria capable of causing infection in humans while other test compounds were found to stimulate the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Technical Abstract: The consumption of pomegranate products leads to a significant accumulation of ellagitannins in the large intestines, where they interact with complex gut microflora. This study investigated the effect of pomegranate tannin constituents on the growth of various species of human gut bacteria. Our results showed that pomegranate by-product and punicalagins inhibited the growth of pathogenic clostridia and Staphyloccocus aureus. Probiotic lactobacilli and bifidobacteria were generally not affected by ellagitannins, while relatively small growth inhibition by ellagic acid likely resulted from decreasing media quality due to formation of tannin-protein complexes. The effect of pomegranate ellagitannins on bifidobacteria was species and tannin dependent and most probably related to modification of media pH. The growth of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis was slightly inhibited by punicalagins, punicalins, and ellagic acid, while growth of Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium infantis was significantly enhanced.