A new study has shown that pomegranates may actually be able to help slow down the aging process. The superfood fruit can prompt cells to recycle and rebuild themselves, increasing endurance and slowing down aging.
Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have stated that the molecule urolithin A, found in pomegranates, is responsible for kickstarting the mitophagy process. This process allows old and unusable parts of cells to be disposed of and helps make way for replacements.
Over time, this natural process becomes less efficient, leaving people with aged skin, muscles, and organs. It is also associated with many diseases older people are afflicted by, such as Parkinson’s disease. Reversing the process can lead to a better body, both mentally and physically.
It was found during lab testing that giving urolithin A to mice upped their endurance by a whopping 42 percent. Feeding the mice may have also been associated with expanding their lifespan by up to 45 percent.
But while urolithin A is rich in pomegranates, humans can’t benefit from them if they don’t have the correct microbes in their gut to help break it down. Researchers are working on a way to help make it so everyone will be able to benefit from the molecule, regardless of gut bacteria.
“We believe this research is a milestone in current anti-aging efforts, and illustrates the opportunity of rigorously tested nutritional bioactive agents that we consider to have outstanding potential for human health,” said lead researcher Professor Johan Auwerx of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
The team is working with a biotech company, Amazentis, to create a supplement that may help reverse, or dramatically slow down, the aging process. After success with mice in the laboratory, clinical trials are currently underway on humans in many hospitals throughout Europe.
Although this is the first time anti-aging benefits have been linked with pomegranates, this healthy fruit has also been linked to a variety of other health perks. For example, it is known to help reduce inflammation, fight heart disease, improve memory, and soothe arthritis, to name a few benefits.