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Promegranate May Fight Alzheimer’s

If you’ve never had one, a pomegranate is a tough reddish outer skin fruit about the size of an orange.  It has a sweet red flesh containing many seeds incased in a sweet but tart liquid.  It originated in the Middle East but was brought to America with Spanish settlers near the time of American independence.

Pomegranates are often called an antioxidant-rich “superfood,” great for fighting cancer and heart disease. Researchers are nowinspecting several compounds found in the fruit and its extract that may possibly help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Read 5 common myths about Alzheimer’s disease.

One of these compounds is punicalagin, a compound that helps reduce the inflammation that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis andParkinson’s disease. Now, researchers believe that this powerful compound may be capable of treating inflammation of the brain as well. Rampant inflammation of specific brain cells called microglia causes the other brain cells to wither and die.  Such a condition makes the symptoms of Alzheimer’s much more severe. By reducing microgliacell inflammation, researchers hope that punicalagin could help fight certain effects of Alzheimer’s disease.  Hopefully this will eventually lead to a more permanent cure.

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Another study published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscienceshowed the findings of researchers that focused on 21 other compounds found in pomegranate extract. They mainly looked at the interaction of polyphenols and urolithins. Urolithins are anti-inflammatory compounds created by the body when stomach bacteria breaks down polyphenols.

Finding a compound that can cross the blood-brain barrier is very important in developing new treatments. The barrier is not easy to cross and for good reason, it is there to protect our brains from external harm.  Without being able to cross it, scientists cannot help prevent the build-up of the amyloid-beta protein plaques that is the main cause of Alzheimer’s symptoms. In this study, researchers discovered that polyphenols cannot cross this barrier, but that urolithinscan!

Researchers desire that this newurolithins study will result in medicine that can treat brain inflammation and ultimately Alzheimer’s disease. Until that new drug can be designed, researchers suggest that an increased intake of pomegranate and its extract is very advisable for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, or for people at a higher risk for developing these diseases in the future.

Cottages is an assisted living facility in Montgomery AL.  They keep up to date on such trends and make sure that such foods are available to their community.

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