Punica granatum L. (Punicaceae) fruits have been widely used in folk medicine; a number of therapeutic properties of pomegranate preparations has been reported (Duke and Ayensu, 1985), including vermifugal, taenicidal, astringent, antispasmodic, antihysteric, diuretic, carminative, emmenagogue and antiinflammatory. More recently, De Nigris et al. (2005) reported that pomegranate juice may exert a preventive role in atherosclerotic disease. These actions have been ascribed to the presence of anthocyanins, cyanidin, ellagitannins, punicalagin and vitamin C. It has been reported (Gil et al., 2000) that industrial pomegranate juice (obtained from both arils and rinds) displays antioxidant activity against reactive oxygen species; this activity has been found to be higher than that of red wine and green tea; arils-only juice seems to be less active than whole fruit juice. Further studies, including one from our group (Ricci et al., in press), dealt with the antioxidant activity of whole, arils or rinds pomegranate juices/extracts: however, these research works have been carried out exclusively in cell-free systems.
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