Can pomegranates hold the key to preventing dementia?
(NaturalHealth365) Could something as simple and natural as pomegranates be effective in preventing dementia? Science shows that a component found in this little red fruit – long prized for its nutritional profile and antioxidant properties – could reduce the risk of dementia.
Pomegranates contain an impressive array of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and useful plant compounds. But pomegranates are also known to contain potent antioxidants, particularly in the juice and peel, known as punicalagin. Now, researchers believe these naturally occurring antioxidants inhibit inflammation linked to dementia and related diseases.
Pomegranates could be used to prevent dementia and Parkinson’s disease
Chronic inflammation is known to be a leading cause behind many deadly diseases, including not only Alzheimer’s disease but also cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But the punicalagin found in pomegranates is now known to have potent anti-inflammatory features. Earlier lab tests have shown this component of pomegranates can reduce inflammation throughout the digestive tract and in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.
Researchers at the University of Huddersfield in England and the University of Freiburg in Germany discovered that punicalagin found in pomegranates can inhibit damaging neuroinflammation. Their findings were published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
The brain’s microglia typically cause this type of inflammation, the central nervous system immune cells associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Discovery of this link to Alzheimer’s disease could lead to treatment for other types of disease-causing inflammation as well, reducing the risk of such conditions as Parkinson’s disease.
Over the course of several experiments, they found that punicalagin significantly impacted the production of inflammatory compounds in animals exposed to inflammation-inducing agents. Researchers found that punicalagin works by interfering in multiple ways with a protein involved in inflammation.
Nutritional prevention for inflammation-related diseases
The researchers believe the results suggest punicalagin inhibits neuroinflammation in a way that suggests it could have potential as a nutritional preventive for neurodegenerative disorders. The scientists plan to develop punicalagin derivatives that may later be used as oral compounds to prevent neuroinflammation.
Regular intake of pomegranate has long been known to have a lot of health benefits. Now, the prevention of neuroinflammation related to dementia can be added to the list of advantages.
Dementia is taking a devastating and costly toll on society
As the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease surpasses 5 million, it serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive research, effective treatments, and increased public awareness. Tragically, projections indicate that by 2060, this devastating neurodegenerative disease could afflict a staggering 14 million people.
Behind the statistics lie countless families and individuals grappling with the profound impact of Alzheimer’s as it continues to exact an emotional, financial, and physical toll on both patients and caregivers. In the face of this ongoing crisis, concerted efforts to advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s, promote early detection, and develop innovative interventions are crucial.
We, at NaturalHealth365, hope to curb the relentless rise of this debilitating condition and offer a brighter future for those affected only through collective dedication and a commitment to prioritizing research and support. In fact, this web site’s Founder, Jonathan Landsman created the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Summit with the hope of helping others to avoid the fate of his own father’s death from Alzheimer’s disease.
Sources for this article include: