Research underway to create pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Research underway to create pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

THE onset of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced, according to the findings of a two-year project headed by University of Huddersfield scientist Dr Olumayokun Olajide, who specialises in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

He is still working on the amounts of pomegranate that are required, in order to be effective.

"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," he says, 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.

Dr Olajide states that most of the anti-oxidant compounds are found in the outer skin of the pomegranate, not in the soft part of the fruit. And he adds that although this has yet to be scientifically evaluated, pomegranate will be useful in any condition for which inflammation – not just neuro-inflammation – is a factor, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's and cancer.

The research continues and now Dr Olajide is collaborating with his University of Huddersfield colleague, the organic chemist Dr Karl Hemming. They will attempt to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin that could the basis of new, orally administered drugs that would treat neuro-inflammation.

5 Replies

  • Sounds Interesting!!

  • We used to eat Pomegranites with a Pin on our way to school, they lasted a week or more. but they were only available in Autumn. Let us hope the research is successful.

  • Pardon me for sounding sceptical, but I have never heard of inflammation being associated with Parkinson's. I am happy to be proved wrong however but would like to see the evidence.


    Ibuprofen for inflammation

    The power of ibuprofen (brand names include Motrin, Advil) to combat inflammation is well researched. In Parkinson's, inflammation is known to contribute to the death of dopamine neurons. For this reason, many Parkinson's experts have begun to recommend a daily dose of ibuprofen for inflammation prevention, at least in younger patients.

    The research on ibuprofen and Parkinson's is recent, but because ibuprofen's side effects are mild, some experts consider it a low-risk gamble. Anyone with Parkinson's should talk to a doctor about whether taking ibuprofen is appropriate, and at what dosage and frequency.

    Researchers believe that ibuprofen may protect these brain cells, slowing the progression of this debilitating disease.

  • Thanks Roy. Interesting.

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