Pomegranates slow down the ageing process by prompting cells to recycle and rebuild themselves, a study shows.
The ruby red fruit was revered by the ancients as “food of the gods”, but it has taken until now for scientists to identify the precise chemical that holds the key to youth.
Researchers in Switzerland have isolated a single molecule, uro-lithin A, which they believe drives a process called mitophagy, allowing parts of the cell that become defective to be cleared away.
However, humans can only benefit from the anti-ageing chemical if they possess the right sort of bacteria in their gut. The microbes are needed to convert the fruit’s raw ingredient into urolithin A.
Researchers investigating the molecule fed it to mice as part of their diet.
They found it increased their lifespan by more than 45%.
The scientists have set up a company, Amazentis, to exploit the discovery, and clinical trials are under way in a number of hospitals.
The fruit is packed with antioxidants and is said to reduce the risk of heart disease, fight inflammation and arthritis, improve memory and combat prostate cancer.
Source: Times Live