A molecule derived from the consumption of pomegranate could improve muscle mass in the elderly and prevent sarcopenia
A molecule that derives from the consumption of pomegranate could prevent loss of muscle mass and strength in the elderly.
This is urolithin, produced by the intestinal microbiota following the consumption of pomegranate juice and capable of improving muscle health.
Pomegranate against muscle aging
La pomegranate, fruit of the pomegranate (Punica granatum), contains numerous beneficial substances for our body, including ellagitannins, vitamins and minerals.
- ellagitannini they are particularly interesting molecules as they have known antioxidant and neuroprotective properties and a probable anti-tumor action.
Ellagitannins are tannins present in pomegranate, walnuts and berries: once hydrolyzed in the intestine, ellagitannins release ellagic acid from which theurolithin A.
In past studies in elderly animals, urolithin A was found to stimulate the selective degradation of defective mitochondria, and to improve muscle health. A study carried out by the Polytechnic University of Lausanne to evaluate the safety linked to the administration of urolithin in humans was recently published in Nature.
During the experiment, urolithin was administered at different doses in elderly, healthy and sedentary subjects.
The results of the study, in addition to proving the safety of the molecule, showed the ability of urolithin to improve mitochondrial and cellular health.
The effect could be comparable to that obtained through physical activity, which the elderly often fail to perform, thus losing muscle mass and strength.
Sarcopenia: the loss of muscle mass in the elderly
One in two people over the age of eighty is affected by sarcopenia, that is a rgradual reduction of muscle mass and performance.
Sarcopenia is mainly caused by insufficient physical activity and an inadequate protein intake in the elderly: elderly people often struggle to perform regular physical activity and to eat adequate nutrition.
Protein deficiencies and a sedentary lifestyle in turn cause the reduction of protein synthesis and enzymatic activity in the mitochondria, cellular organelles responsible for the production of energy.
The results of animal studies and this further research may suggest the administration of urolithin in the elderly to make up for the lack of physical activity and prevent loss of muscle mass. It could prove useful especially in those people who for various reasons cannot carry out regular physical activity.
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