This study examined the effects of oral supplementation with standardized pomegranate fruit extract on wrinkle appearance and skin biophysical properties, including sebum production and water loss through the epidermis. A skin microbiome assessment, as well as a gut microbiome assessment, were included in the study.

Throughout history and present-day society, skin health and appearance have been crucial in defining overall well-being and health. Skin serves various functions; it directly affects many body systems, from providing a barrier to external pathogens to regulating temperature.

Furthermore, skin’s appearance and quality also affect mental and cultural well-being. For instance, psychologically, poor skin health can affect mental health, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

The skin also plays an integral role in determining an individual’s physical attractiveness and desirability in various cultures. For instance, certain skin factors, like wrinkles, are believed to affect an individual’s physical beauty and desirability directly. Therefore, one’s skin impacts one’s physical, psychological, and social health.

Recent years have seen the development of preventative measures for skin health, such as diet and lifestyle changes. For example, researchers have found that consuming a balanced diet rich in antioxidants reduces the harmful effects of free radicals on our health.

Fruits like pomegranates are widely consumed as food, such as pomegranate arils, juice, and oral supplements. Different components of the pomegranate fruit are well known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-neuroinflammatory, anti-glycation, and immunomodulatory properties.

In addition, studies have shown that pomegranate phytochemicals reduce DNA damage and oxidative stress induced by harmful agents in human skin fibroblasts in vitro.

What Did The Study Reveal?

The study assessed 186 individuals for eligibility, but 154 declined due to the dietary restrictions required. Four individuals also failed to meet the inclusion criteria. A computer-based randomization generator and blinded sealed envelopes were used to randomly allocate 28 subjects into two study groups based on inclusion criteria.

The trial was conducted on healthy males and females aged 25-55, supplementing them with punicalagin-enriched oral pomegranate extract or a placebo (control group) daily for four weeks.

The researchers also assessed the microbiome of the gut and skin microbiome along with wrinkle severity and facial biophysical properties.

A significant reduction in wrinkle severity and a decrease in forehead sebum excretion were observed in the PE group. In addition, participants in the PE group with a higher relative abundance of Eggerthellaceae in their gut showed a reduction in facial TEWL and wrinkle severity. At the same time, PE supplementation increased skin growth of the Staphylococcus epidermidis and Bacillus genus.

It is also possible that the significant decrease in wrinkle severity among the PE group subjects can be attributed to a study showing that pomegranate concentrated solution (PCS) has anti-wrinkle effects due to its ability to decrease the activity of elastase and collagenase in human primary dermal fibroblasts.

The study concluded that supplementing 250 mg of a standardized pomegranate fruit extract containing 75 mg punicalagin (Pomella®) once a day improved several biophysical properties, wrinkles, and changes in the skin microbiome.

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