Pomegranates - Superfood Plus

Suddenly pomegranates have started appearing in our fridge and the seeds sprinkled on salads, in curries and with home-made hummus. What's that all about? I know it's one of those superfoods, but there must be more to it than that.

Apparently, pomegranates hold the secret to eternal life. Well, almost. Scientists claim the fruit can help you live longer and healthier. They say that the fruit contains a 'miracle' ingredient that strengthens ageing muscles and adds years to your life span. I'll have some of that then!

Amazing results have been witnessed in in worms and mice that the experts are testing the so-called fountain of youth supplement on humans. The excitement centres on the pomegranates ability to keep the tiny battery packs that power our cells, called mitochondria, charged up. These cells run down with age, making them less effective or even toxic, leading to muscle weakness. However, chemicals in pomegranates are turned into a compound called urolithin by bugs in our gut and they help the body recharge cells, holding ageing at bay.

Already a 'superfood', pomegranates were credited with a range of health benefits before this discovery - lowering blood pressure and strengthening bones. However, before we all rush out and stock up on this super fruit, like everything, there is a warning. The amount of urolithin made after eating a pomegranate varies widely depending on which bugs you have in you gut. Some of us don't produce any at all.

However, science and business are quick to spot an retail opportunity, by producing urolithin A capsules. Trials have begun on 30 people taking one capsule a day and if successful the drug will be marketed as a supplement to keep muscles strong in those aged 50 and over.

If you are not a pomegranate fan and can't be persuaded to pick out those tiny little seeds with a pin, then walnuts, raspberries and blackberries also contain the ingredient in lower amounts.


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