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Pomegranate key to anti-ageing: scientists

It may not make you immortal, but a ruby red superfruit revered in ancient times as a “food of the gods” could hold the key to youthful ageing.

The pomegranate contains a chemical that combats a fundamental ageing process which causes muscles to weaken, scientists have discovered.

As in every legend involving a hidden secret to staying young, there is a catch, however.

To experience any anti-ageing benefit from the pomegranate compound you must first possess the “right” sort of gut bacteria. Some people lacking the right gut bacteria may not obtain any of the molecule from their diet. The microbes are needed because they convert the fruit’s raw ingredient into the molecule urolithin A, shown in laboratory experiments to maintain youthful muscles.

“If you’re one of the unlucky ones, it’s possible that pomegranate juice won’t do you any good,” said the researchers in a press release.

Excited scientists have already set up a company, Amazentis, to exploit the discovery.

Lead researcher Professor Johan Auwerx, from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, said they believe this research is a milestone in current anti-ageing efforts.

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