Can pomegranates fight aging?
We’re familiar with pomegranates for their dark red colors and their tart and sweet flavor, but did you know pomegranates fight aging? There are many pomegranate health benefits thanks to its antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, and a recent research done by JAMA Network Open has shown that the unique, exotic fruit is also linked to fight aging and to boost endurance for seniors.
Science proves pomegranates fight aging after consumption, as our microbiomes produce a postbiotic known as Urolithin A. Researchers from the University of Washington state that these microbiomes can guard against frailty and improve mitochondrial health as we get older. So how do the pomegranate health benefits actually work? Well, it’s all relative to our body’s mitochondria.
“Mitochondria are like batteries that power the cells in your body,” shared the UW research team. “But over time, they break down. The process of mitophagy recognizes this failure and proactively tears down the mitochondria, reducing it to elemental components that a cell can reuse. But with aging, mitophagy becomes less efficient and your body accumulates this pool of failing mitochondria. It’s one way that muscles become less functional as we age.”
Urolithin A has been proven to strengthen mitochondria (the powerhouses of cells) and increase muscle endurance. It can also be taken in supplement form, but we would prefer to enjoy the pomegranate by itself. Those at UW showed that science proves pomegranates fight aging with the help of 66 volunteers who received either 1,000 mg of urolithin on a daily basis, or a placebo. All participants had low cell function due to low adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels.
The two groups were tested with six-minute walks. In comparison, those who took the Urolithin A supplements saw an improvement of muscle contractions during exercise. They also achieved further distance during their walks than those with the placebo. These studies made the pomegranate health benefits clear. Not only did Urolithin A enhance exercise, they’re already known to reduce inflammation in the brain and delay cognitive illnesses.
Even better, the UW scientists discovered that those who took Urolithin A had fewer substances in their blood that are typically connected with metabolic diseases. With additional benefits including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, this fruit is truly a godsend. Other than being allergic or just not fond of its taste, there’s no reason not to add more pomegranates to our lives.