Pomegranate Peel Beneficial for Alzheimer’s Disease
Research finds a compound in the peel of pomegranates may be of great value in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. It may also alleviate the inflammation associated with other disorders, which would result in less pain and a greater quality of life for those afflicted with them.
More than 44 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s, and the number of sufferers is expected to keep rising in the future. Pomegranates wouldn’t be a cure for the disease, but they may help in its prevention or slow its development.
Discovery Called a Key Breakthrough for Alzheimer’s
Scientists at the University of Huddersfield in England discovered that a polyphenol antioxidant in pomegranates called punicalagin can suppress inflammation in brain cells known as micrologia. This is considered a key breakthrough because inflammation in these cells leads to the progressive destruction of brain cells of Alzheimer’s victims, causing the disorder to advance. While it has not yet been proven, the researchers postulate the compound may also help with other conditions involving inflammation, such as Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
The majority of pomegranate’s antioxidant compounds are found in the outer skin rather than the soft part of the fruit, says lead author Dr. Olumayokun Olajide, a specialist in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products. He recommends products that are 100 percent pomegranate juice because they contain approximately 3.4 percent punicalagin.
“We do know that regular intake of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits – including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia,” notes Olajide. He is working on the exact amount of punicalagin that would be needed to formulate an effective drug for Alzheimer’s. The study’s results were published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
Other Health Benefits of Pomegranates
Aside from the punicalagin content of pomegranates, the fruit is a rich source of other antioxidants as well. In fact, a 2008 UCLA study comparing healthful beverages put pomegranate juice in first place because it contained the greatest quantity of these compounds, surpassing even that found in acai, Concord grape and blueberry juice. In addition to being of value for dementia, the fruit’s antioxidants may help fight cancer, erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease, according to alternative medicine proponent Dr. Joseph Mercola.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.