Pomegranate may help fight ageing process
Pomegranate may hold the key to living longer, a new study has found.
In what scientists are describing a "milestone" discovery, it's been claimed the fruit contains a molecule which produces an age-defying chemical.
Researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) point out that as humans get older their cells' source of power, the mitochondria, weakens, causing frail muscles and possibly diseases like Parkinson's. But the experts believe that a molecule called urolithin A can help restore the mitochondria. This is produced when a molecule found in pomegranate combines with microbes in the intestine, and it's shown positive results on mice; 42 per cent of the older rodents improved their running after having urolithin A compared to a control group.
Tests on worms have come out positive too, with their lifespan increased by 45 per cent after being exposed to urolithin A.
Study co-author Professor Patrick Aebischer has shared his excitement at the discovery via a report published in Nature Medicine: “It’s the only known molecule that can relaunch the mitochondrial clean-up process, otherwise known as mitophagy.
“It’s a completely natural substance, and its effect is powerful and measurable.”
Another study author, Dr Chris Rinsch, continued: “Precursors to urolithin A are found not only in pomegranates, but also in smaller amounts in many nuts and berries.
“Yet for it to be produced in our intestines, the bacteria must be able to break down what we’re eating. When, via digestion, a substance is produced that is of benefit to us, natural selection favours both the bacteria involved and their host.
“Based on the rigorous science being published in Nature Medicine, we have advanced our lead product delivering urolithin A into clinical trials.
“We believe that this discovery will open the door to a new approach for managing muscle decline by rejuvenating mitochondria.”
Human clinical trials have began, according to the report.