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Researchers Working On Developing Pomegranate Drug To Stem Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Update Date: Aug 23, 2014 03:07 PM EDT

The start of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate, suggests a new study. 

The study further found that the painful inflammation that accompanies the illness such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could also be reduced with pomegranate. 

The findings of the study would lead a new phase of research that can explore the development of drugs that stem the development of dementias such as Alzheimer's. 

In UK alone, Alzheimer's affects some 800,000 people and 163,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Globally, there are as many as 44.4 million dementia sufferers and the numbers are expected to only soar. 

The study demonstrated that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialized brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, ultimately worsening the condition of Alzheimer's sufferers. 

There is still no cure for the disorder, but the findings offer new hope for at least slowing down its development. 

"But we do know that regular intake and regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits - including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia," said University of Huddersfield scientist Dr Olumayokun Olajide, recommending juice products that are 100 per cent pomegranate, meaning that approximately 3.4 per cent will be punicalagin, the compound that slows down the progression of dementia.

The study is published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

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