Citrus-pomegranate complex may promote physical fitness and mental well-being in older adults: RCT


The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial also found that citrus-pomegranate complex supplementation led to a decrease in malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of oxidative stress, and an increase in nitrate (NO3) levels, an important signaling molecule. involved in endothelial function which stimulates vasodilation in smooth muscle cells.

“This study was the first to determine the effects of a combined citrus and pomegranate complex on fitness in an older study population,”​ wrote the researchers from Maastricht University and BioActor.

The study used BioActor’s brand ingredient Actiful, which is standardized for its 2S-hesperidin flavonoid content.

Sanne Ahles, lead author of the new paper and clinical researcher at BioActor, commented:We are pleased with the results of this clinical trial, which includes improvements in both physical fitness and mental well-being, as well as improved markers of oxidative stress.

“These findings have piqued our interest regarding potential underlying mechanisms of action, which are currently being investigated in our new clinical trial.”

Study details

The study included 36 active elderly people between the ages of 60 and 75 who were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 700 mg of the citrus and pomegranate complex for four weeks. This was followed by a four week washout period before switching to the other group for a further month.

The results indicated that four weeks of CPC supplementation resulted in significant improvements in grip strength in these healthy elderly subjects, compared to placebo.

“Improved grip strength has previously been associated with reduced all-cause mortality, as well as increased cognitive function, mobility, and functional status,” write the researchers.

Commenting on the potential mechanism of action of grip strength, they proposed that it may be related to improved mitochondrial function. Previous data in vitroExperiments have already shown that hesperetin – the main active metabolite of CPC – can increase intracellular ATP production and mitochondrial reserve capacity, they said.

Additionally, data from the WHO-QOL-100 questionnaire, a list of 100 questions created by the World Health Organization and validated to assess quality of life, indicated that CPC supplementation was associated with significant improvements in a series of measures, including thinking, learning, memory and concentration.

Significant reductions in MDA were also seen following CPC supplementation, decreasing by approximately 16% over four weeks, while levels increased over four weeks of placebo.

Nitrate levels also improved, the researchers said, but these changes were not statistically different between the groups.

“With age, the number and functionality of mitochondria decreases. Dysfunctional mitochondria have reduced the ability to produce ATP, our muscles’ main source of energy. Therefore, the next step is to confirm the effect of CPC on the biogenesis and functionality of mitochondria in humans. live“, said the researchers.

Source: Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s12603-022-1834-4
“The effect of a citrus and pomegranate complex on physical fitness and mental well-being in healthy older adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial”
Authors: S. Ahles et al.


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