In-vitro study explores potential of Pomanox® as an ocular anti-inflammatory agent

Mollet del Vallès (Spain), May 2023: A recently published study in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Ophthalmology shows the anti-inflammatory effect of Euromed’s Pomanox® in a common cell model for testing eye damage and irritation.1 This trial suggests for the first time that the pomegranate extract may have potential as an ocular anti-inflammatory agent, which could be promising for the growing eye health market.

The study aimed to evaluate the anti-inflammatory potential of Pomanox® on cytokine secretion activity in a model of reconstituted human corneal epithelial cells (SkinEthic™ HCE), which is a proven in-vitro tool for testing eye damage or irritation of different substances. The researchers found that the culture of corneal cells with Pomanox® significantly decreased the production of the cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) after inducing inflammation triggered by bacterial material. The inhibition of the cytokine release was higher than that obtained with an anti-inflammatory control substance. In addition, the percentage of viable cells was also higher in the sample treated with Pomanox®, indicating that the extract was able to maintain the survival of the cells better than the other conditions.

Pomegranate has been used for centuries in traditional and folk medicine for its multiple effects on various cellular pathways, especially those triggered by oxidative stress and mediators of the inflammatory cascade. These health benefits come from punicalagins, which are among nature’s strongest antioxidants. Euromed’s pomegranate extract Pomanox® contains up to 30 per cent punicalagins, and has been the subject of many clinical studies, all of which found that the pomegranate extract provides cardiovascular, cognitive and skin health benefits, as well as enhancing sports performance and promoting satiety, and better mood.

Andrea Zangara, Head of Scientific Communication & Medical Affairs and one of the co-authors of the study, says: “Despite pomengranate’s various benefits for overall wellbeing, there is limited data on how it can support eye health. So far, experimental studies have mostly examined the antioxidant activity and not the anti-inflammatory potential of Pomanox® in corneal tissue samples. This latest study provides evidence of its possible use for eye health, which is promising. Considering the ageing population and increasing screen time embedded into our daily lives, vision health looks set to become one of the key concerns for consumers globally.”