The ancient Chinese believed that Pomegranates had anti-aging properties. They might have been right. Swiss scientists have identified a metabolite of compounds found in pomegranates. It is called urolithin A (UA) and it appears to improve mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the energy factories of cells. Enhancing the health of your mitochondria is a noble enterprise. The Swiss research suggests that pomegranate power is real. Urolithin A may improve muscle health and have some anti-aging activity, just as the ancient Chinese predicted.
Pomegranate Power Through the Ages:
Pomegranates have a fascinating history. There is a suggestion that there might have been a pomegranate tree in the Garden of Eden. The fruit is mentioned in many ancient religious texts. It also plays an important role in Greek mythology.
Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the harvest goddess. Hades, a really bad dude and lord of the underworld, kidnapped Persephone. She was eventually rescued, but before leaving the underworld the myth says she ate some pomegranate seeds. Doing so forced her to return every year to spend several months back in the underworld with Hades. When Persephone returns to the underworld the earth endures winter.
Pomegranate power Is No Myth!
The Swiss study of 60 elderly people published in Nature Metabolism (June 14, 2019) showed that supplements of urolithin A increased mitochondrial biogenesis, just as exercise can. The subjects received either urolithin A or a placebo. They took the pills for a month.
Mitochondrial health was enhanced by urolithin A. As we age our mitochondria begin to break down. It needs to be recycled or else our energy factories become increasingly dysfunctional. Urolithin A appears to be one of the few compounds that actually does that.
How the Body Turns Pomegranate Power into Urolithin A:
Urolithin A is not actually found in pomegranates. The seeds contain a precursor compound that is converted to UA in our bodies by gut bacteria. In other words our microbiome helps manufacture UA after we eat pomegranates or drink pomegranate juice.
If UA increases muscle mass, improves endurance and ultimately, longevity, it will fulfill the ancient Chinese beliefs. It may take quite a few more years of research, however, to demonstrate such benefits. In the meantime we think enjoying pomegranates and pomegranate juice makes a lot of sense.
You can watch one of the co-authors of the Swiss study describe pomegranate power and UA in a lovely little video at this link.
Other Health Benefits from Pomegranate Power:
We love pomegranate juice. It is pricey, though. At Costco you can buy 1.77 L (60 oz. or 1.87 quarts) for about $10. We dilute it to make it last.
There is some evidence that pomegranate juice can lower blood pressure (Pharmacological Research, Jan. 2017). Learn more details about how it works at this link:
Pomegranate Juice for Joint Pain
Pomegranate juice may also substitute for grape juice in a renowned arthritis remedy. This reader was back in fighting form with pomegranate juice and pectic. Read down this article to get the details about how he did it and why there is an explanation for the benefit he achieved.
Pomegranate is The People’s Pharmacy Favorite Food # 4. Learn more about its health benefits and 24 other Favorite Foods in our book, Quick and Handy Home Remedies: Q&As for Your Common Ailments.
Share your own pomegranate power story in the comment section.