You’ve probably heard of, or even enjoyed, a pomegranate and the tart, sweet juice from the spongy, dense collection of seeds nestled inside its husk.
Most scholars believe that the pomegranate was native to Iran and the Himalayas in Northern India. It was then cultivated over the whole Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe, migrating as far east as China where it has been cultivated since the pre-Christian era.
Pomegranate is a long-lived and drought–tolerant plant. Arid and semiarid zones are popular for growing pomegranate trees. They are widely cultivated today in Iran, India and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Spain and Morocco.
Even though pomegranate is categorized as a berry, it belongs to its own botanical family, Punicaceae. The only genus is Punica, with one predominant species called P. granatum.
Pomegranate trees can grow up to 30 feet in height. The leaves are opposite, narrow and oblong, 3-7 cm long and 2 cm broad. It has bright red, orange or pink flowers, which are 3 cm in diameter with four to five petals.
Edible pomegranate fruit has a rounded hexagonal shape, with 5-12 cm in diameter, weighing 200 grams. The thick skin surrounds around 600 scarlet-red tender seed-coverings called arils.
Today, in North America, pomegranates are often overshadowed by more common fruits like apples and oranges. However, with its valuable nutritious properties, including powerful antioxidants, this fruit is one you should not overlook.
I’m excited to share with you what I uncovered about a rarely–consumed part of the pomegranate that can help promote incredible health benefits.
Loaded With Potent Antioxidant Polyphenols
About 153 different phytochemicals have been found in pomegranate with polyphenols being the most abundant compounds found in all parts of the tree, including the fruit and peel.
It’s the abundance of these polyphenols that are primarily attributed to pomegranate’s beneficial antioxidant activity.
Antioxidants are nature’s way of providing your cells with adequate defenses against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS). With sufficient levels, your body can resist potential cellular damage and abnormal aging caused by everyday exposure to pollutants.
Antioxidant polyphenols present in pomegranate include flavonoids (anthocyanins, catechins and other complex flavonoids), hydrolysable tannins (including punicalagin, ellagic acid and ellagitannins) and other polyphenols. The chart below illustrates basic structures of key polyphenols present in pomegranate:
Be Aware of These Significant Health Benefits
With all its potent antioxidant polyphenols, you may be wondering what are some of the potential health benefits offered by pomegranate? Pomegranate has been shown to help support healthy aging and overall well-being by how it: *
- Promotes cellular health.*
- Supports normal aging and longevity.*
- Helps improve mitochondrial health.*
- Aids in normal inflammatory responses.*
- Helps support memory and spatial learning.*
- Supports blood pressure levels already in the normal range.*
- Aids in healthy blood flow.*
- Promotes overall heart health.*
- Supports gastrointestinal health.*
- Promotes joint and cartilage health.*
To say pomegranate offers significant potential health benefits is a bit of an understatement. The extent of all this is simply unmatched by many other fruits.
Why Tossing Out This Part of a Pomegranate Could Be a Big Mistake
Many people favor pomegranate juice because of its enjoyable taste and availability in stores, and online as well.
A few years ago, researchers conducted a study comparing the antioxidant potency of 10 different polyphenol–rich beverages. Pomegranate juice scored the top rank overall. In fact, the antioxidant potency of pomegranate was found to be “at least 20% greater” than the other beverages in the study
That’s good news on pomegranate juice, but here’s the issue… sugar content.
One of the top brands of 100% pomegranate juice we reviewed at random contained a whopping 34 grams of sugar per 8 oz. serving.
That’s 8 tsps. of sugar in just one small serving. If you drink the entire bottle (as many people do), you would be consuming 16 tsps. of sugar. Even organic pomegranate juices tend to be loaded with natural sugars.
Less convenient than the sugary juice, and inside the pomegranate itself, are what are called the arils. These juice–filled seed sacs that contain crunchy fiber–rich seeds are often enjoyed as a snack.
However, like most fruit available around the world, there’s a concern for embedded pesticide residues. A UK–based study, published by the Ministry of Agriculture, found pesticide residues in sampled pomegranates above the Ministry’s Maximum Residue Limits (MRL).
There’s some good news in all this… there’s an often–unused part of the pomegranate that has higher levels of antioxidant polyphenols than the other parts of the fruit, as well as the juice.
We’re talking about the peel. This inner membrane part of the pomegranate is rarely consumed due to its very bitter taste. More often than not, it’s simply thrown away. Yet, as much as 50% of the total pomegranate weight corresponds to the peel.
The Power of the Peel
Pomegranate peel is abundant with polyphenols across multiple categories, including phenolics, flavonoids and tannins.
Specific polyphenols in a pomegranate peel that help provide beneficial properties include ellagitannins, ellagic acid, punicalagin, flavanols, anthocyanins, catechin, procyanidins and gallic acid.
The amounts of these polyphenol compounds along with the pomegranate varieties determine the bioactivities of a pomegranate. When comparing the bioactive contents of different parts of the pomegranate, the peel has been shown to possess the highest amounts of the phenolic compounds.
In one study that compared antioxidant fractions contained in pomegranate pulp extract (a byproduct produced during juice extraction) to the peel, researchers observed the following:
|Pomegranate Antioxidant Polyphenols
||Pulp Extract Yield (mg/g)
||Peel Extract Yield (mg/g)
||24.4 ± 2.7
||249.4 ± 17.2
||17.2 ± 3.3
||59.1 ± 4.8
||5.3 ± 0.7
||10.9 ± 0.5
The above chart clearly illustrates how the pomegranate peel extract had significantly greater antioxidant potential over the pulp extract. And there’s even more involved in the potency of the peel…
A Key Polyphenol for Cellular and Mitochondrial Health*
Present in three forms as ellagic acid, gallic acid and punicalagins, ellagitannins are one of the most potent polyphenols found in pomegranate. These ellagitannin compounds account for a great deal of the pomegranate’s antioxidant ability.
In fact, an estimated 90% of the antioxidant activity of pomegranate is attributed to the ellagitannin polyphenols. And when you include the fact that pomegranate peel has the highest polyphenol content, it goes without saying that the peel should not simply be discarded.
There’s an extraordinary phenomenon that occurs naturally in your body with the help of ellagitannins as well as ellagic acid –it’s called autophagy.
Autophagy is your body’s process of eliminating damaged cells by digesting them. It’s an essential cleansing process that encourages proliferation of new, healthy cells and is a foundational aspect of cellular rejuvenation and longevity.
As you age, this critical process typically slows down, and autophagy defects can potentially lead to adverse health consequences.
Inside your body, what’s called “Transcription Factor EB (TFEB),” is a master regulator of autophagy and lysosomal genes. Recent studies have shown how certain polyphenols play a role in influencing TFEB activation.
Pomegranate has been shown to activate TFEB to promote autophagy, as well as what’s called “mitophagy”.* Mitophagy (mitochondria + autophagy) is a quality control pathway that preserves mitochondrial health by targeting damaged mitochondria for autophagic degradation.
In other words, mitophagy is the process of cleaning out your mitochondria so they can function at their best for health and longevity.*
Dr. Mercola’s Pomegranate Insight
“After researching and discovering all the potent benefits in pomegranate peel, I was determined to find a solution. After trying to consume the organic peel powder, I quickly stopped this approach due to its awful bitter taste.”
“Instead, after not finding a suitable powder supplement available, I created my own by manually inserting the peel powder into capsules. This supplement is best taken in a catabolic or fasting state, either intermittent or partial fasting. Taking this supplement with a big meal that is activating mTOR and anabolism is like driving your car with your foot simultaneously on the brake and accelerator, which is not a good idea.”
“I was so impressed by the powerful peel benefits that I decided to have my team produce our own pomegranate supplement to share with you.”
So what part do ellagitannins play in all of this?
Urolithin A, a gut bacteria–derived metabolite from ellagitannins, predominantly found in pomegranate peel, has been shown to activate mitophagy, helping to slow down the mitochondrial aging process.*
It’s important to emphasize that Urolithin A is not a compound found in the fleshy part of pomegranate. It is converted in your gut from the ellagitannins found in pomegranate peel.
Once again, we’re challenged with how to optimize pomegranate’s potential benefits by consuming the peel. Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, not only is extracting the peel from the fruit a bit of a challenge, but also the peel is so bitter, it’s almost impossible to consume.
Readily available peel powder is also extremely bitter. Mixing it in with smoothies or other foods would literally destroy their palatability.
To us, the solution to all this was quite clear…
The First Ever Biodynamic® Organic Pomegranate Peel Tablet
There are many pomegranate options available in the marketplace today. However, I didn’t have any intention of settling for sugary juices and bitter powders, organic or otherwise.
With our research and experience, my team and I concluded that the optimal way to maximize the benefits of pomegranate peel would be in a supplement – specifically a tablet, that goes beyond an organic powder supplement as well.
While Certified Organic is a high-quality standard that helps you avoid most harmful synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and genetically engineered ingredients (GEs), raw ingredients from crops may still lack important nutrients if the soil where they were grown lacks those nutrients.
A step above organic, Certified Biodynamic® farming utilizes regenerative farming methods with a spiritual–ethical–ecological approach, creating a self–sustaining ecosystem.
Striving for a higher standard, we worked exclusively with our Demeter Certified Biodynamic® partner to offer you a pomegranate peel supplement in tablet form with our Biodynamic® Organic Pomegranate Peel formula, certified by the platinum standard for high–quality nutritious foods and raw ingredients.
Let’s take a closer look at how Demeter Certified Biodynamic® compares to the National Organic Program’s (NOP’s) Certified Organic standards:
|Allows imported organic fertilizers
||Reduces imported materials by utilizing nutrient-rich humus created within the farming system
|Allows imported organic pesticides
||Creation of biologically diverse habitat encourages balanced predator prey relationships
|Does not require the use of livestock
||Integrates livestock to improve soils
|Does not address the rotation of crops
||Promotes crop rotation and makes intensive use of cover crops (green manure) to add nutrients to the soil
|Organic feed for livestock can come from anywhere in the world
||50% of livestock feed must be grown on the farm
|No requirement for biodiversity
||10% of total farm acreage must be set aside for biodiversity
|Focused on crops and allows only one section of a farm to be certified
||Focused on farms and requires that the whole farm be certified
|Product certification focuses mainly on ingredients used
||Product certification uses 12 biodynamic processing standards so the agricultural ingredients used define the product
We attempted to take things even further with our exclusive formula by employing fermentation. What we discovered is that your gut naturally does the best job converting the ellagitannins in pomegranate peel to Urolithin A – so fermentation would not add any bioavailability benefit.
We’re excited to bring you our Biodynamic® Organic Pomegranate Peel formula, the very first pomegranate supplement tablet ever to bear the Demeter Certified Biodynamic® distinctive symbol on its label.
Exclusive Pomegranate Partner With Proven Experience in Biodynamic® Agriculture
To ensure we offer the highest quality products possible, we’re especially selective when choosing our partners. The pomegranates used in our Biodynamic® Organic Pomegranate Peel formula are exclusively:
- Grown in El Badari, Asyut, in Northern Egypt on the east bank of the Nile River.
- Harvested only once a year by hand during a harvest period of about 35 days, from the first of October until mid-November when the fruit is fully ripe
- Used to create true pomegranate peel powder (not an extract).
Our Egyptian partner is immersed in a rich history that goes beyond simply providing high-quality pomegranate peel powder, as they…
- Were founded with the idea of sustainable development and the aim to build a prosperous future for the surrounding communities and Egypt.
- Continually strive to implement sustainability through a holistic approach that includes the four dimensions of economy, ecology, cultural and societal life.
- Through their supply chain management approach, ensure they not only achieve long-term business relationships, but also contribute to the improvement of living conditions and the development of supplying farmers throughout Egypt.
The independent Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) provides the training and expertise needed to enable participating farmers to have their land inspected and certified as Biodynamic according to Demeter’s standard.
Holistic biodynamic agriculture, combined with processing companies in one closed value chain, enables our partner to produce the highest quality products with full transparency and traceability for Egypt and the world.
Make the Most Out of Pomegranate Peel’s Potent Benefits
As a savory fruit that has been enjoyed for thousands of years, pomegranate offers a wide array of potential benefits from its antioxidant polyphenols, including support for normal inflammatory responses, cellular health, normal aging, mitochondrial health and overall heart health.*
You can buy pomegranate fruit and juice, even organic varieties, almost anywhere.
However, with our Biodynamic® Organic Pomegranate Peel formula, you not only get the very best when it comes to the highest polyphenol potency of pomegranates, but you also avoid excess sugars and possible pesticide residues – all this in a convenient biodynamic tablet.
Experience the noteworthy benefits of the first-ever Biodynamic® Organic Pomegranate Peel tablet, and order your supply today.