Could pomegranates offer the key to new IBD treatments?

Studies of pomegranates, “the fruit of the gods,” are increasingly revealing why they are so beneficial. Urolithin A, derived from pomegranates, and its synthetic equivalent could help treat inflammatory bowel disease, according to a new study.

picture of a pomegranate
Pomegranates may contain the secret to better gut health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that around 3 million adults in the United States had a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in 2015.

IBD refers to two different conditions — Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — that are characterized by the long-term inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Louisville in Kentucky identified a natural compound that could help improve IBD treatments. The researchers also explain the mechanisms through which it most likely fights IBD symptoms.

The compound, called urolithin A (UroA), is a metabolite produced as a result of the interaction of gut bacteria and certain polyphhenols present in pomegranates and some other fruits — particularly berries.

Specifically, ellagic acid — which is present in pomegranates and berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries — interacts with the INIA P815 strain of Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum in the gut, thereby releasing UroA.

This compound also has a synthetic equivalent called UAS03, which has the same, if not a stronger, therapeutic effect in the case of IBD.

The researchers report their recent findings in a study paper in the journal Nature Communications.

Thank you for supporting Medical News Today

How this substance protects gut health

Previous research indicating that UroA has multiple health benefits made the researchers keen to look into the substance’s potential in the context of IBD treatments.

“Previous studies demonstrated inhibitory activities of urolithins in inflammation, proliferation, and aging in various models,” the researchers write.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *