A research on pomegranates has found that it has certain properties that can slow down the development and speed of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Olumayokun Olajide, a specialist in anti-inflammatory of natural products, who works at the University of Huddersfield has found this fact through an extensive research on pomegranates. It also reveals the presence of certain compounds in the fruit that can reduce the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
According to statistics collected, there are at least 44.4 million dementia sufferers all around the world, with the numbers expected to increase in the near future. The two yearlong studies also works on developing drugs which will help cure dementias in the UK where every year 163,000 cases of Alzheimer’s are diagnosed alone and a striking 800,000 people are affected by it. The numbers are bound to increase in coming days, experts say.
Dr. Olajide has also been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield for four years. He also held a post as a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Munich. He got his PhD from the University of Ibadan in his native Nigeria.
He attributes his area of research to his upbringing. “African mothers normally treat sick children with natural substances such as herbs. My mum certainly used a lot of those substances. And then I went on to study pharmacology!” says Olajide.
Dr. Olajide’s research comes as a ray of hope to patients suffering from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. His research claims that punicalagin, a polypheno, which is a form of chemical compound found in pomegranates, can inhibit inflammation in special brain cells called micro logia. Dr. Olajide worked with a team of specialists, his co-researchers including four PhD students in the department of pharmacy at the University of Huddersfield and with the scientists at the University of Freiburg in Germany.
The inflammation has been recognized as the cause of progression of this disease by the doctors. The research says that the natural compound may not cure the disease, but it can be effective in slowing down its progression. There is still no known cure for these diseases.
Dr. Olajide and his team conducted were successful in their experiment by conducting the tests and analysis on rat brain cells and soon the doctors will start to disseminate these findings at academic conferences. The important findings of the research are published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. The research doesn’t say the exact amount of pomegranate required for the treatment, but the team is working on it so that maximum patients can be treated.
Despite not being sure of the amount of pomegranate to ingest just yet, Dr. Olajide says that a regular intake of this fruit has a lot of health benefits, such as prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia. Further, it is not just beneficial for neuro inflammation but also works for any kind of inflammation. He also enumerated that the antioxidant compound responsible for the treatment is found in the outer skin and not in the soft part of pomegranates. Dr. Olajide will be collaborating with his fellow
doctor of University of Huddersfield colleague, the organic chemist Dr. Karl Hemming to develop a drug that could be orally taken.
Dr. Olajide adds that although the complete benefits of pomegranates have yet to be scientifically evaluated. This fruit is expected to be useful in any condition for which any kind of inflammation is a factor, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and even cancer.
An orally administered drug is the aim of these doctors that are attempting to produce compound derivatives of the compound punicalagin found the fruit. This could be the basis of revolutionary drug that would treat neuro-inflammation.