The power of the pomegranate in bolstering gut health

By Annabel Kartal-Allen | Published: 18-Apr-2024

Supplementation with Punica granatum extract can help to enhance gut health in three ways, a novel study finds

Pomegranates have, throughout history, been used as a herbal remedy for a plethora of conditions, such as skin and digestive disorders, as well as to banish intestinal parasites.1 Their ancient roots have lived on, with modern science suggesting their positive impacts on high blood pressure, mediating cholesterol levels, tackling oxidative stress and more.2

Therefore, it’s logical that the nutraceutical industry is taking an interest in this superfood, creating a range of supplements to bolster our health and wellbeing. 

The popularity of gut health and its modulation has exploded in the industry during recent years, so research into the best botanicals for the job led Verdure Sciences® to pomegranates. The company’s investigation into opportunities for gut & digestive support began with early studies on Pomella®, finding the ingredient’s ability to offer antioxidant support.

However, when researchers published data showcasing the potential of Pomella to significantly impact HbA1c,3 they wanted to explore the mechanisms behind this phenomenon, due to this almost certainly occurring in the gut, therefore suggesting Pomella’s ability to modulate gut metabolism.

Further down the line, the company has conducted a study to determine how supplementation with pomegranate extract can affect the gut microbiome. Annabel Kartal-Allen spoke to the Digital Marketing Manager of Verdure Sciences, Kristen Marshall, to find out more.

There was a significant increase in the relative abundance of specific bacterial species in the Pomella cohort

The trial 

The four week, double-blind, placebo controlled, randomised clinical trial evaluated how Pomella – Verdure Sciences’ proprietary pomegranate extract –affected the gut microbiome. It looked for beneficial effects, concentrations of circulating short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and gut-microbial derived urolithins via whole genome sequencing. Kristen Marshall, Digital Marketing Manager of Verdure Sciences

Kristen Marshall, Digital Marketing Manager of Verdure Sciences

Kristen comments: “This is the second publication by this team. The first examined the gut-skin axis and more heavily evaluated the influence of Pomella for it’s potential impact to the skin, skin microbiome and beauty from within. From there, we wanted to evaluate the effect of Pomella on the gut microbiome.”

“There was a significant increase in the relative abundance of specific bacterial species in the Pomella cohort; however, no significant changes in the gut microbial diversity were observed in either group. Increases were seen in species such as Coprococcus eutactus, Roseburia faecis, Roseburia inulinivorans, Ruminococcus bicirculans, Ruminococcus callidus, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Methanobrevibacter smithii, and Collinsella aerofaciens in the Pomella cohort, which indicates that pomegranate ellagitannins induce shifts in the bacteria that may influence overall health through the modulation of short-chain fatty acids, secondary metabolites, and urolithin A synthesis.” 4

After Pomella supplementation, there was a 162% increase in propionate level and a 38% increase in acetate level

Along with the increase in presence of various gut microbes, there was a significant enhancement in circulating acetate and propionate levels. “Researchers pinpointed that there were notable differences in short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) before and after Pomella extract supplementation. There was a 162% increase in the propionate level and a 38% increase in the acetate level after Pomella supplementation.”

“Results show that the functional analyses of the gut correlate with circulating SCFAs and further support the notion that Pomella supplementation augments circulating SCFAs through modulation of the gut microbiome as one of the mechanisms. With all of this considered, the research suggests Pomella pomegranate extract consumption supports a healthier gut and gut–body communication.”

In addition to what can be observed in that study, a previous study highlighted Pomella’s impact on metabolic and cellular health, as well as mitochondrial support. “Pomella augmented the genes for the synthesis of several key amino acids and supported a catabolic state (energy-yielding metabolism) for the TCA cycle,” Kristen explains.

“The TCA cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs’ cycle, is the major energy-yielding metabolic pathway in cells which produces adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This has potential to impact mitochondrial and cellular health alongside adding mechanistic insight into previously reported findings supporting cardio-metabolic health.” 5-6

“Pomella augmented the gene for the pathway of sulphur amino acid biosynthesis, which is specific to the activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.4 This was a particularly interesting find given Saccharomyces’ biotherapeutic probiotic potential for gastrointestinal issues.”


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The diverse benefits pomegranates offer

There are many contexts in which supplementation with pomegranates can be beneficial, and Kristen believes that this study should only enhance the interest in its use for human health: “The support for the gut microbiome, short chain fatty acids, metabolic health, mitochondrial and cellular support are all areas we have seen previous data support."

"This study helps bolster an already interesting story—making it much more compelling. Tremendous interest continues to build for gut and digestive health, skin support and beauty from within as well as specific gut and skin microbiota.”

Moving on from this study, the team at Verdure Sciences will place their focus on all stages of the nutraceutical development pipeline: “Verdure has a significant track record on producing science-backed ingredients with transparent research. The challenge at the moment is helping customers position ingredients in new markets and original products in a global economy. Research efforts in areas of health benefits is only one segment of our ingredient development pipeline. We are currently working on a number of botanical ingredients in varying stages of development including clinical trials, regulatory filings, and delivery optimisation.”



1         facts#:~:text=Ancient%20cultures%20understood%20the%20health,disease%2C%20diabetes%2C%20and%20cancer. 


3 Sivamani RK et al. Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-conteolled study of a standardized oral pomegranate extract on the gut microbiome and short-chain fatty acids. Foods. 2023 Dec 19. 13(1): 15pgs. doi: 10.3390/foods13010015

4 Sivamani RK, MD, MS, AP. (2022 Sep 15). NutraIngredients-USA: Beauty from within clinical study finds Pomella® extract supports skin health benefits and associated influence on the gut-skin axis (webinar). Retrieved 2023 Dec 20 from

5 Goyal R et al. An antioxidative effect of Punica granatum (pomegranate) on biochemical parameters in patients with MI: A double-blind placebo controlled trial. Eur J Biomed Pharm Sci. 2016. 3(5): 662-667

6 Goyal R et al. Antioxidative effect of Punica granatum (pomegranate) on biochemical parameters in patients with T2D and MI: A double-blind placebo controlled trial. Int J Adv res. 2016. 4(5): 857-864

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