Pomegranates are rich houses of antioxidants and it’s no secret, that they come with numerous health benefits. A new research suggests that the fruit also plays a role in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The polyphenols in pomegranate can interact with certain gut bacteria strains to produce a compound called urolithin A which can assist in the treatment of IBD.
What Does This New Study Reveal?
A new research reveals that urolithin A (UroA), a compound derived from pomegranates, can support the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This new study was carried out at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Researchers found that the natural compound UroA is produced when gut bacteria and certain polyphenols interact and it can fight the symptoms of IBD.
These polyphenols that interact with gut bacteria for producing UroA come from pomegranates and some berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. The ellagic acid found in these fruits interacts with Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum’s INIA P815 strain to release urolithin A. UroA’s synthetic equivalent UASO3 was also studied as part of the study.
The findings of this study have been published in the Nature Communications journal. For the purpose of studying the effects of both UroA and UASO3, a mouse model was used. Results showed that both compounds acted like bridges between cells that make up the gut’s tissue lining to reduce inflammation. They tightened cell junctions.
By doing so, they prevented toxins from making their way in and causing inflammation. However, if the bacteria strain necessary for the production of UroA is not available in one’s gut microbiome, at all or in the required amounts, no benefits may be experienced with regards to lessening the symptoms of IBD by consuming pomegranates. UASO3 may prove to be more reliable and effective.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition that is mainly characterized by two intestinal disorders: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both of these conditions revolve around inflammation of the gut and are long-term. While ulcerative colitis occurs in the large intestine, Crohn’s disease can be caused anywhere in the digestive system.
Other diseases of the digestive tract may also contribute to IBD. Not only can IBD be extremely painful but also life-threatening. Symptoms of the condition include diarrhea, bleeding ulcers that can cause hematochezia, stomach pain, cramps, bloating, weight loss, and anemia. Typically, IBD is diagnosed between the ages 15 to 40.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an umbrella term that represents a bunch of digestive disorders. It is mainly characterized by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. A new study says that a natural compound sourced from the interaction of polyphenols from pomegranate and berries with certain gut bacteria may be of use in the treatment of IBD.
However, if one’s gut microbiome doesn’t comprise of this particular bacteria strain, he may not be able to notice a decrease in symptoms.