AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Pomegranate Metabolites May Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Research published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience found that the compound urolithin may help protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies show that pomegranate extract, which is a rich source of disease-fighting polyphenols, can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. However, until now, researchers weren’t sure which molecules were responsible. During the study, the research team isolated and identified 21 compounds — mostly polyphenols — from pomegranate extract. Computational studies found that polyphenols could not cross the blood-brain barrier, but that urolithins could. Urolithins are anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective compounds that are formed when ellagitannins, a type of polyphenol, are metabolized by gut bacteria. The researchers then showed that urolithins reduced Aß fibrillation levels in vitro. Additionally, these compounds increased the lifespan of an Alzheimer’s roundworm model. They say further tests are needed to determine whether the protective effects of these compounds could ultimately help prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans. To read more about this study, click here.

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