|Image 1: Looks like color matters! The yellow variety of Passiflora edulis is not just a particularly rich source of low-methoxyl pectin (dietary fiber), it's also packed with other bioactive substances which could keep you lean and healthy!|
Passion Fruit Rind - Nothing in Nature is Wasted!
If we dig somewhat deeper into the archives of the medical, chemical and even historico-cultural journals, it's not as if we could not have known about the potential health benefits of the putative "natural packaging" that protects the juicy kernel of the fruits of a plant which belongs to the family Passifloracea and originated in the tropical and subtropical regions of the American continent. Previous studies by Deng, Janebro and Ramos, for example, did already hint at the potent anxiolytic, antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipedemic effects of a fruit that has a longstanding tradition in traditional medicine (Ramos. 2007; Janebro. 2008; Deng. 2010). Against that background, it is almost surprising that the existent literature on the use of respective extracts is not exactly comprehensive.
My GNC Does Not Have Passion Fruit Rind Extracts! Can I Make My Own?
How to home-brew your own PFR extract ;-)Ecology and health aside, I bet that for (too) many people the -76% reduction in weight gain would constitute the most convincing argument to buy Passion-o-Lean(TM) or whatever stupid name the first company whose "product designer" reads the study will come up with ;-)
- dehydrate the rind on trays in a forced air circulation drying oven at 55ºC until a constant dry weight is reached
- ground 200g into powder in a multiprocessor for 6 minute (turn off the processor at 2 min intervals to stir the product)
- prepare a solution of 20 g of powdered rind and 500 mL of water
- beat solution in a blender for 12min
- filtered through filter paper
- divide resulting solution into aliquots and stored in a freezer at -10ºC
Now, the good news is that we do actually have human data to confirm a statistically significant weight loss effect from passion fruit rind products: The nineteen 30-60 year-old, still normal-weight (BMI 24.8kg/m²) but hyperlipidemic (cholesterol > 200 mg/dL; went down by -18% as a result of supplementation) women in the aforementioned study by Ramos et al. lost 1.7 kg within one month (Ramos. 2007), but they did ingest 30g of passion flower rind flour per day and the weight loss stalled in the second month in the course of which they lost <300g, only - by no means as impressive as the weight loss, or, I should say, the absence of weight gain in the rodents from Barbalho study, right?
Due to the fact that Ramos et al. don't disclose how the co-authoer Sabaasrur, who provided the flour, actually prepared it, we cannot definitely answer the question whether or not these differences could simply be a result of the different preparation methods and consequent yield of bioactive substances in the extract (Barbalho. 2012) and the flour (Ramos. 2007). It is however very unlikely that the production of the floor involved either low temperature drying (1), water extraction (3-5) or refrigeration to maintain the maximal vitamin and phenols content (see figure 2) as they were part of the manual extraction process that was used in the Barbalho study (for details on the preparation see box on the left).
|Figure 2: If you are more of a juicer, make sure to drink your juice right away to get the maximum amount of the good phenolic acids and avoid the potentially hazardous HMF (click to enlarge for more info; data based on Talcott. 2003)|
Moreover, in the absence of detailed information about the body composition of the lab animals and their energy intake, we could as well be dealing with the results of micronutrient malabsorption or anorexia as root causes of the reduced body weight in the passion fruit rind extract group of the Barbalho study.... although, with the twice daily bolus administration of only 2x 1ml of the PFR extract, both explanations, i.e. 'failure to thrive due to nutrient malabsorption' and 'anorexia in response to too much fiber', appear pretty unlikely, so that passion fruit rind extract would actually be a good candidate for a home-brew diabesity prevention potion... well, at least if you live next to one of those Brazilian dumping grounds where the passion fruit industry disposes of their hitherto unrecognized treasures ;-)
- Barbalho SA, da Silva Soares de Souza M, de Paula e Silva J, Mendes CG, de Oliveira GA, Costa T, Farinazzi-Machado. Yellow passion fruit rind (Passiflora edulis): an industrial waste or an
adjuvant in the maintenance of glycemia and prevention of dyslipidemia? FMV. Journal of Diabetes Research and Clinical Metabolism. 2012.
- Deng J, Zhou Y, Bai M, Li H, Li L: Anxiolytic and sedative activities of Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa. J Ethnopharmacol 2010; 128;(1.);148-53.
- Janebro D I, Queiroz M S R, Ramos A T, Sabaa-Srur A U O, Cunha MAL, Diniz M F. Effect of the flour of the yellow passion fruit peel (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa Deg.) in the glycemic and lipid levels of type 2 diabe- tes patients. Rev Bras Farmacog 2008;18: 723-732.
- Ramos AT, Cunha MAL, Sabaasrur AUO, Pires VCF, Cardoso AA et al. Use of Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa on cholesterol reduction. Braz J Pharmacog 2007;17: 592-560.
- Talcott ST, Percival SS, Pittet-Moore J, Celoria C. Phytochemical composition and antioxidant stability of fortified yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis). J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Feb 12;51(4):935-41.
- Yapo BM, Koffi KL: Dietary fiber components in yellow passion fruit rind - a potential fiber source. J Agric Food Chem 2008; 56;(14.);5880-3.