Monday, July 30, 2007

What is punicic acid?

Pomegranate seed oil is one of the only plant sources of conjugated fatty acids and contains an exceptional amount of punicic acid, a compound closely related to conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Recent scientific studies have shown that the potent therapeutic and preventive properties of CLA may help the body fight against human cancers, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Punicic acid, abundant in pomegranate seed oil, has been called by a seller of pomegranate seed oil as a "super CLA", whose effect is even more potent than ordinary CLA. Wikipedia defines punicic acid as:

" Punicic acid (also called trichosanic acid) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, 18:3 (n-5). It is named for the pomegranate, (Punica granatum), and is obtained from pomegranate seed oil. It is also found in the seed oils of snake gourd and bitter gourd.[1]

Punicic acid is a conjugated linolenic acid or ClnA; i.e. it has three conjugated double bonds. It is chemically similar to the conjugated linoleic acids, or CLA, which have two. In lab rats, it was found that punicic acid was converted to the CLA rumenic acid (9Z11E-CLA).[2] In vitro, it shows anticancer activity against prostrate cancer cells.[3] OLETF rats—a strain which becomes obese—remained relatively lean when punicic acid was added to their feed.[4] Fat cells undergo programmed cell death when exposed to punicic acid from bitter-gourd oil.[5]"

The oil extracted from pomegranate seed is called omega 5.

Try eating 1 pomegranate a day when pomegranates are in season, and whey they are not, try a pill containing pomegranate seed oil which is the equivalent of a single pomegranate.

Pomegranate seed oil can be purchased at Vitamin Express.


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