Why Pomegranates May Help You To Live Longer
Scientists from Switzerland claim that the humble pomegranate may hold the secret to a longer and healthier life. Researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, say that pomegranate contains what they call a ‘miracle’ ingredient that strengthens ageing muscles and adds years to lifespans.
That is an interesting claim, so it is worth exploring to find out what is behind it.
The scientists conducted experiments using worms and mice. The findings they say are “nothing short of amazing”. The researchers are currently testing their so-called ‘fountain of youth’ discovery on volunteers to see whether it works on humans.
The idea is that something as simple as keeping muscles young should reduce the number of falls and boost independence of elderly people. The scientists hope that this research becomes a milestone in anti-ageing efforts. That alone should be something to get excited about.
The researchers excitement centres on the ability of pomegranate to keep cell organelles called mitochondria ‘charged up’. These organelles are basically tiny ‘power packs’ or batteries that supply energy for biochemical reactions. In other words, they make our muscles work.
As we age, mitochondria normally run down like depleting batteries. They become less effective or even toxic. It is believed that this is the root cause of muscle weakening and frailty as all animals age.
The good news is that chemicals occurring naturally in pomegranates become converted into a compound called ‘urolithin A‘ by microbes residing in the gut. This compound then helps to recharge mitochondria so that cells keep working properly and hold ageing at bay.
In one experiment, the Swiss scientists found that worms given ‘urolithin A’ lived almost twice as long. In another experiment, ageing mice were able to run nearly twice as far after six weeks of treatment with ‘urolithin A’.
Pomegranates are already known to provide a range of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and strengthening bones.
As usual though, there is always a downside to new and exciting discoveries. Before rushing out and stocking up on cartons of pomegranate juice, there is something you need to know.
The amount of ‘urolithin A’ made after eating a pomegranate varies widely from person to person. That is because it depends on the variety of microbes resident in an individual’s guts. They differ between people. Some people have more microbes than others, while some have hardly any.
With this mind, the Swiss scientists founded a company making ‘urolithin A’ capsules. Trials on human volunteers have begun, with a capsule taken during breakfast.
It is hoped that if the trials prove to be successful, the capsules could be made available to keep muscles strong in the over-fifties.
‘Urolithin A’ is a natural substance, and its effect is powerful and measurable. The nutritional approach opens up territory that traditional medicine has not explored.
An interesting thing to know is that raspberries, walnuts and blackberries also contain ‘urolithin A’, but in far smaller amounts than in pomegranates.
So now you know how it could be possible to keep your muscles from becoming too flimsy as you age. All you have to do is to recharge your ‘cellular batteries’ with pomegranate, together with a healthy colony of gut bacteria.