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A natural compound in pomegranate may help Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Fresh pomegranates
Fresh pomegranates
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are two very devastating diseases. The University of Huddersfield reported on Aug. 22, 2014 that research is being done on a pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It appears the onset of these diseases can be slowed and some of the symptoms curbed by a natural compound which is found in pomegranate.

Dr Olumayokun Olajide, who specializes in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products, headed this research. This is very significant with at least 44.4 million dementia sufferers worldwide and the numbers anticipated to soar. Dr Olajide and his co-researchers have demonstrated that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialized brain cells which are known as micrologia. The condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers becomes progressively worse because of this inflammation which leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells.

The journal Molecular Nutrition reports on this research dealing with the effects of punicalagin on neuroinflammation in microglia. The researchers used brain cells which were isolated from rats in order to test their findings. The results of this study have suggested that punicalagin inhibits neuroinflammation in microglia and offers potential as nutritional preventive strategy in neurodegenerative disorders.

The regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits which includes prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia. Delicious pomegranate may very well prove to be useful in any condition for which inflammation, not just neuro-inflammation, plays a role such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and cancer.