Since aging is a key driver of many diseases, targeting that process could be a handy catch-all for treating a range of diseases and improving the quality of life for pretty much everybody. That’s why, for a long time, researchers have been busy looking for various ways to slow down the process of aging, and it seems that pomegranates – a fruit prized by many civilizations for its health benefits – might help them get closer to that goal.
In a recent exciting study, scientists from Switzerland have achieved promising results in slowing mitochondrial aging in elderly patients with no side effects found. A pomegranate-derived compound called urolithin A (UA) was the focus of the study after previous experiments with it showed promise in extending the lifespans of worms and mice.
The fruit-sourced compound appears to fight aging by improving the function of mitochondria – the energy-producing part of a cell – in a way similar to the benefits of exercise. While not found naturally in any known food, biomolecules in fruits like pomegranates and raspberries do break down into UA in the human gut.
The hope is that treatment with UA could slow down or even reverse the loss of skeletal muscle mass that naturally occurs with age, as well as the weakening of other tissues.