British Journal of Nutrition

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British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 104:402-406 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2010

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Human and Clinical Nutrition

Effect of pomegranate seed oil on hyperlipidaemic subjects: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial

Parvin Mirmirana1a2, Mohammad Reza Fazelia3, Golaleh Asgharia1, Abbas Shafieea4 and Fereidoun Azizia5 c1

a1 Obesity Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
a2 Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
a3 Department of Drug and Food Control, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 14174, Iran
a4 Pharmacutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medicinal Sciences, Tehran 14174, Iran
a5 Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 19395-4763, Tehran, Iran
Article author query
mirmiran p [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
fazeli mr [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
asghari g [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
shafiee a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
azizi f [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that punicic acid, a type of conjugated fatty acid and the main constituent of pomegranate seed oil (PSO), has anti-atherogenic effects. The present study aimed at determining the effect of PSO treatment on serum lipid profiles. This double-blind placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial included fifty-one hyperlipidaemic subjects, diagnosed according to National Cholesterol Education Program definition, and randomly assigned to the PSO and the control groups. The PSO and placebo groups received 400 mg PSO and placebo twice daily, respectively and were followed up for 4 weeks. Serum concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins were measured before and 4 weeks after intervention. Mean concentration of TAG and the TAG:HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio were significantly decreased after 4 weeks in the PSO group as compared with baseline values (2·75 (sd 1·40) v. 3·45 (sd 1·56) mmol/l, P = 0·009 and 5·7 (sd 4·6) v. 7·5 (sd 5·0), P = 0·031, respectively). The treatment effect was statistically significant in the PSO group as compared with controls in diminution of cholesterol:HDL-C ratio (5·4 (sd 1·5) v. 5·9 (sd 1·4), P < 0·05) adjusted for baseline values. We found a mean difference for PSO v. placebo in HDL-C concentration (0·13 v. − 0·02 mmol/l) and cholesterol:HDL-C ratio ( − 0·42 v. 0·01, P < 0·05). Serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and glucose concentrations and body composition variables remained unchanged. It is concluded that administration of PSO for 4 weeks in hyperlipidaemic subjects had favourable effects on lipid profiles including TAG and TAG:HDL-C ratio.

(Received September 03 2009)

(Revised January 26 2010)

(Accepted January 27 2010)

(Online publication March 25 2010)

Key Words:Pomegranate seed oil; Hyperlipidaemia; Randomised clinical trials


c1 Corresponding author: Fereidoun Azizi, fax +98 21 22402463, email


This clinical trial was registered at as IRCT138711151640N1.

Abbreviations: CLA, conjugated linoleic acid; CLN, conjugated linolenic acid; HDL-C, HDL cholesterol; LDL-C, LDL cholesterol; PA, punicic acid