Introducing the pomegranate — the fruit that could hold the secret to a long and healthy life.
Scientists have found what they describe as a ‘miracle’ ingredient in the Middle Eastern fruit that is said to have strengthening properties on ageing muscles and the ability to extend life.
Experiments have been conducted on worms and mice and the results are so amazing human trials are about to take place. In one experiment a worm given the secret ingredient lived almost 50 per cent longer than those who weren’t, while mice had the ability to run 42 per cent further after just six weeks of treatment.
As you age, your cells increasingly struggle to recycle its powerhouses. These mitochondria are no longer able to carry out their vital function and as a result they deteriorate, which in turn affects the health of tissues in your body, so things like your muscles will gradually weaken over the years.
The scientists identified a molecule that managed to re-establish the cell’s ability to recycle the components of the defective mitochondria.
“It’s the only known molecule that can relaunch the mitochondrial clean-up process,” Patrick Aebischer, the study’s co-author says.
Pomegranates already have a good reputation for their health benefits. They are said to assist in lowering your blood pressure and strengthening your bones.
But before you rush out and buy a truckload of pomegranates, it’s worth noting that it isn’t the fruit itself that contains the secret ingredient, known as urolithin A, it’s the precursor. That molecule is converted into urolithin A by the microbes that inhabit the intestine and because of this the amount of urolithin A varies widely depending on the animal and the flora present in its gut. Some people just don’t make any microbes at all.
Because of this, a team of researchers has come up with a urolithin A capsule, and if successful the capsule could be marketed as a supplement to keep your muscles strong.
Don’t like pomegranates? The good news is the research has also found walnuts, raspberries and blackberries might also contain this magical ingredient.
Does the idea of slowing down the ageing process appeal to you? What challenges have you noticed as you’ve got older?