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Pomegranate extract supplementation improves spirometry test results in mild asthma patients

Asthma is a complex respiratory disease affecting over 300 million people globally. It is caused by a combination of environmental exposure, genetic susceptibility, and host factors, leading to inflammation, airway obstruction, and excessive mucus production. Cytokines and inflammatory mediators contribute to airway inflammation, accompanied by a mucosal influx of immune system cells. Pro-oxidant–antioxidant balance (PAB) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are commonly used indicators of inflammation, with hs-CRP levels providing more sensitive detection of low-grade inflammation. Recent research suggests that interleukin 35 (IL-35) plays a role in asthma pathophysiology by regulating cellular relationships, differentiation, and inflammation. 

Pomegranate, a rich source of polyphenols with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, has been studied for its health benefits. A study on the impact of ellagic acid, a main component of pomegranate, showed significant anti-inflammatory activity in asthma and may be a viable therapeutic agent for allergic asthma. The present study aimed to determine the impact of pomegranate extract on lung function parameters including spirometry, hs-CRP, PAB, and IL-35 in participants with mild and moderate allergic asthma.

Baseline Characteristics of Participants

The study included participants with mild and moderate allergic asthma, with a mean age of 38.44 ± 11.90 years. Men and women represented 42.18% and 57.81% of the sample, respectively. No significant differences were observed between the two groups in dietary and anthropometric variables, asthma severity, physical activity, clinical features, medication taken, or age of onset of asthma. These similarities at baseline reduce the risk of confounding factors influencing the study’s outcomes.

Pomegranate Extract Supplementation Increases IL-35 Levels

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At the beginning of the study, no statistically significant differences were observed between the intervention and control groups in terms of IL-35 and serum hs-CRP levels. However, there was a statistically significant increase in IL-35 levels in the intervention group when compared to the control group (p = 0.026). At the end of the study, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of IL-35 (p = 0.172). Furthermore, no significant differences were detected in the intra/intergroup comparison of serum hs-CRP levels (p > 0.05).

Pomegranate Extract Improves Lung Function in Allergic Asthma

Pomegranate extract supplementation improves spirometry test results in allergic asthma patients. The study found a statistically significant increase in forced expiratory flow 25−75% (FEF25−75%), FEV1/FVC ratio, and FEV1 in the intervention group. Moreover, the FEV1/FVC ratio was significantly higher in the intervention group compared to the control group. The changes in FEV1, FEV1/FVC, and FEF25−75% were statistically significant in the intervention group with mild asthma severity. The results also showed statistically significant changes in FEV1 and FEV1/FVC in the intervention group with moderate asthma severity. However, no significant differences were detected between the two groups regarding spirometry tests in moderate or asthma severity.

The authors recommend conducting longer-duration studies to confirm these results and propose investigating other inflammatory pathways, such as NF-kB, MAP kinase, and MPO activity, that may be involved in the pathways through which pomegranate extract improves lung function parameters in asthma.

Source:

Shateri, Z., Hosseini, S. A., Abolnezhadian, F., Maraghi, E., Haddadzadeh Shoushtari, M., & Zilaee, M. (2022). Pomegranate extract supplementation improves lung function parameters and IL-35 expression in participants with mild and moderate persistent allergic asthma: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Front Nutr, 9, 1026343. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.1026343

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