Pomegranates contain substances that suppress inflammation in the intestine, contributing to the tightening of ulcers and lowering the likelihood of developing cancer. To such conclusion the American Indian and biologists, published an article in the journal Nature Communications.
“Our colleagues thought that the substances present in pulp and seeds of pomegranates, just suppress the inflammation. We found that their use is not restricted — they help the body to restore the barrier between the intestinal walls and the rest of the body,” said Rajbir Singh (Rajbir Singh) from the University of Louisville (USA),RIA Novosti reported.
Today most scientists believe that diet and certain foods have a strong influence not only on the weight of the person, but also on the health of the brain, blood vessels, heart and other key organs of the body.For example, recently scientists have shown that drinking large quantities of olive oil and Mediterranean food significantly lowers the chances of dying from a stroke or heart attack, and excessive amount of salt in food, on the contrary, worsens the health of the heart and blood vessels.
Many of these effects, as recently discovered by scientists, are the result of how food affects the microflora. The appearance of certain products and substances in the diet can dramatically change and increase as the number of useful and potentially dangerous microbes that promote obesity, cancer and diabetes.
Singh and his colleagues uncovered another example of how healthy food affects the human body, changing its microflora, watching as the bacteria digest food with a high content of berries or pomegranates.According to the biologist, scientists long enough to know that microbes absorb part of flavonols, plant signaling molecules, and antioxidants, and turn them into a number of other substances, presumably beneficial to the body.
Indian scientists studied the properties of one of these molecules, urolithin-And, presumably possessed strong antioxidant properties. After receiving a number of this substance, they cultivated their culture of cancer cells and slices of various organs and tissues of mice.
These experiments showed that the pomegranate extract, the “digested” by bacteria, not only suppress inflammation, but in an unusual way influenced the composition of the mucus covering the intestinal wall. It consists of three types of particular proteins, and “cements” the cells with each other and protect the body from toxins and other foreign molecules that are present in the food.
If the cells of the intestine start to produce insufficient amounts of these compounds, this barrier loses its “integrity” that leads to the development of chronic inflammation, colitis and dramatically increases the likelihood of developing cancer.Such inflammation, explains Singh, can not be suppressed with ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs, as they not only restore the structure of this barrier, but to hasten its destruction. This task, as it turned out, could decide urolithin-A and its synthetic analogue, developed by the authors.
Experimenting on mice, scientists found that pomegranate extract and its artificial version interacted with specific receptors on the surface of intestinal cells by activating the NRF2 gene, responsible for the suppression of inflammation and restore the barrier.
Now scientists are working to develop more effective and safer analogues urolithin-A. They may become one of the most effective drugs for the treatment of intestinal inflammations, colitis, and ulcers in the near future.