Pomegranate Compound: New Natural Drug to Aid Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

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By Sarah Thomas | August 25, 2014 11:22 AM EST

A research conducted by University of Huddersfield scientist Dr Olumayokun Olajide, who specializes in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products, has found that a compound that is found in pomegranate can slow the development of Alzheimer's disease and its symptoms. Not just Alzheimer's it is seen to reduce the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease.

Reuters
An Afghan seller displays produce for sale during the World Pomegranate Fair in Kabul November 20, 2008. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN)

The study went on for two years and has also been working on the development of the drugs which will help cure dementias such as Alzheimer's. Every year 163,000 cases of Alzheimer's are diagnosed in the UK and a total of 800,000 people are affected with the disease. The numbers will only increase in the days to come. Amidst the increasing cases, Dr Olajide's research has provi8ded a ray of hope to the patients. He found that that punicalagin, which is a polypheno, a form of chemical compound that is found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialized brain cells known as micrologia.

The inflammation is what leads to the progression of the disease, though the natural compound may not cure the disease, but it can slow down the progression. There is still no known cure for the disease.

Dr Olajide and his team conducted their experiment on the brain cells isolated from the rats; the findings are published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. However, the amount of pomegranate required for the treatment is still not confirmed and the team is still working on it.

Dr Olajide said that though the amount to be taken is not confirmed it is sure that a regular intake of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits, including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia. It is not just beneficial for neuro inflammation but works for any kind of inflammation. He also explained that the antioxidant compound is found only in the outer skin and not in the soft part of the fruit. Dr Olajide is collaborating with his University of Huddersfield colleague, the organic chemist Dr Karl Hemming to develop a drug that could be orally taken.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
An Afghan seller displays produce for sale during the World Pomegranate Fair in Kabul November 20, 2008. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN)
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