Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias
Brain Health

Pomegranate Tx for AD, PD, & RA

The onset of Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranates, according to the findings of a two-year project headed by scientist Dr. Olumayokun Olajide, at the University of Huddersfield in the UK. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease could be reduced by the pomegranate drug. The study was published in August 2014 in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

The key breakthrough by Dr. Olajide and colleagues demonstrated that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol – a form of chemical compound – found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialized brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers progressively worse.

There is still no cure for the disease, but the punicalagin in pomegranate could prevent it or slow down its development. Dr. Olajide worked with co-researchers in the University of Huddersfield’s Department of Pharmacy and with scientists at the University of Freiburg in Germany. The team used brain cells isolated from rats in order to test their findings. Dr. Olajide is still working on the amounts of pomegranate that are required, in order to be effective.

A release from the university quote Dr. Olajide as saying, “But we do know that regular intake and regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits – including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia.” He recommends juice products that are 100 per cent pomegranate.

Dr. Olajide says that most of the anti-oxidant compounds are found in the outer skin of the pomegranate, not in the soft part of the fruit. And he adds that although this has yet to be scientifically evaluated, pomegranate will be useful in any condition for which inflammation – not just neuro-inflammation – is a factor, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and cancer.

The research continues and now Dr. Olajide is collaborating with his University of Huddersfield colleague, the organic chemist Dr. Karl Hemming. They will attempt to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin that could the basis of new, orally administered drugs that would treat neuro-inflammation.

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