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Pomegranate: Its Health and Biomedical Potential

Call for Papers

Lifestyle factors, in particular diet, have long been recognized as important modifiers of health. Modern scientific investigation now seeks to uncover, demystify, and validate the idea that proper diet is the best medicine. Likewise, these foodstuffs are currently under investigation as tools for the management of numerous pathologic states, ranging from metabolic and inflammatory disorders to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Indeed, our best medicines may be botanical, sourced from within our food chain, awaiting discovery and development. The concept of a functional food is evolving into an important clinical tool. In this regard, this special issue will focus its attention on the emerging science of the pomegranate and its phytochemically rich extract.

Concerning biochemistry, it is the pomegranate ability to combat oxidative stress, augment the activity of nitric oxide, and modulate inflammatory pathways that has served as the basis for much of its purported health benefit. As an example, a balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function. If free radicals overwhelm the body ability to regulate them, a condition known as oxidative stress ensues. Downstream, free radicals adversely alter lipid, protein, and DNA, prompting a number of human diseases. Therapeutic benefit from pomegranate is derived from a relatively narrow spectrum of bioactive agents. Largely an effect of polyphenols, this list also includes anthocyanins, flavanols, and oils rich in conjugated linolenic acid. Of note, the polyphenols that are believed to imbue benefit are hydrolyzable tannins, particularly ellagitannins, which releases ellagic acid upon hydrolysis. Punicalagin, punicalin, gallagic acid, and ellagic acid account for the majority of the ellagitannins. To this end, purified extracts of pomegranate ellagitannins have proven to be valuable tools to explore and leverage this phytochemistry.

The pomegranate occupies a prominent place in art, religious symbolism, and traditional medicine dating back thousands of years. A look into our modern literature will point to research from as far back as 1821. Rigorous investigation, however, only began some 20 years ago. This compilation of data will advance our knowledge of this ancient fruit chemistry and further its application in tomorrow medicine.

We invite authors to submit original research and review articles. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • History: pomegranate in traditional medicine
  • Biochemistry and toxicology (e.g., tannins, flavanols, and alkaloids)
  • Physiology (e.g., obesity and diabetes)
  • Inflammation
  • Immunology
  • Cardiovascular biology (e.g., atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction)
  • Oncology (e.g., prostate and skin)
  • Aging and cognitive dysfunction (e.g., Alzheimer's disease)
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Musculoskeletal system

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 28 December 2012
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 22 March 2013
Publication DateFriday, 17 May 2013

Guest Editors

  • Edwin L. Cooper, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Ari M. Mackler, Clinical Development, POM Wonderful, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • David Heber, School of Public Health and Center for Human Nutrition, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA