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Substance naturally found in pomegranates may improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

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Substance naturally found in pomegranates may improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

A new study from the University of Copenhagen has found that urolithin A, a compound found in pomegranates, strawberries and walnuts, can improve memory and potentially treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. While research, initially conducted in mouse models, shows that urolithin A can effectively remove damaged mitochondria from the brain, human clinical trials are forthcoming.

A substance naturally found in pomegranates, strawberries and walnuts may improve memory and treat illnesses. Alzheimer’s disease, concludes a new study conducted at the University of Copenhagen.

Forgetfulness, difficulty finding words, and confusion about time and place are all common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have discovered that an ordinary fruit can help.

“Our study in mouse models of AD shows that urolithin A, which is a naturally occurring substance in pomegranates, can alleviate memory problems and other consequences of dementia,” explains Vilhelm Bohr, Affiliate Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology. Medicine at the University of Copenhagen and previously Department Director of the US National Institute on Aging.

This is good news for patients with dementia – a difficult disease to treat.

“Even though the study was conducted on mouse models, the outlook is positive. So far, research has shown promising results for the substance in muscles and human clinical trials are planned.

The substance improves brain function

Researchers have previously discovered that a specific molecule, nicotinamide riboside (NAD supplement), plays a key role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease because it actively helps remove damaged mitochondria from the brain.

“Many patients with neurodegenerative diseases suffer from mitochondrial dysfunction, also known as mitophagy. This means that the brain has difficulty clearing weak mitochondria, which build up and affect brain function. If you can stimulate the process of mitophagy, eliminating weak mitochondria, you will achieve very positive results,” explains Vilhelm Bohr.

The results of the new study show that a substance found in pomegranates, urolithin A, eliminates weak mitochondria in the brain just as effectively as NAD supplements.

Possible preventive effect

Researchers still don’t know how much urolithin A is needed to improve memory and relieve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, among other things.

“We still can’t say anything conclusive about the dosage. But I imagine it’s more than a pomegranate a day. However, the substance is already available in pill form and we are currently trying to find the right dosage,” explains Vilhelm Bohr.

He also hopes that this substance can be used for preventive purposes without significant side effects.

“The advantage of working with a natural substance is the reduced risk of side effects. So far, several studies show that there are no serious side effects from NAD supplementation. Our knowledge of urolithin A is more limited, but as I mentioned, clinical trials of urolithin A have been shown to be effective in muscle diseases, and now we need to look at Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.

He adds: “If we want to eat something in the future to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which we talk about a lot, we need to make sure there are no significant side effects. »

Reference: “Urolithin A improves Alzheimer’s disease cognition and restores mitophagy and lysosomal functions” by Yujun Hou, Xixia Chu, Jae-Hyeon Park, Qing Zhu, Mansoor Hussain, Zhiquan Li, Helena Borland Madsen, Beimeng Yang, Yong Wei, Yue Wang, Evandro F. Fang, Deborah L. Croteau and Vilhelm A. Bohr, May 16, 2024, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
DOI: 10.1002/alz.13847

News Source : scitechdaily.com
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