A study by a Nigerian scientist at the University of Huddersfield has demonstrated that Alzheimer’s disease and its corresponding symptoms can be slowed by a natural compound found in pomegranate. The substance called punicalagin acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent and reduces the neuro-inflammation and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The polyphenol inhibits the inflammation in specialized brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, progressively worsening the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers.
The research study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, used brain cells isolated from rats in order to test the research findings.
“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,” Dr Olajide said.
The researchers recommend consuming juice products that are 100 per cent pomegranate. The anti-oxidant properties of the fruit are mainly attributed to the outer skin of the pomegranate, not in the soft part of the fruit.
Dr Olajide suggested that pomegranate may be useful in any condition for which inflammation is a factor, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and cancer.
Olumayokun A. Olajide, Asit Kumar, Ravikanth Velagapudi, Uchechukwu P. Okorji, Bernd L. Fiebich. Punicalagin inhibits neuroinflammation in LPS-activated rat primary microglia. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201400163