Medicinally interesting: The pomegranate contains a remarkable metabolite.
Image: Markus Bernards
Urolithin A, a metabolic product of the pomegranate, can apparently strengthen the immune system against colon cancer. This is suggested by laboratory tests. Tests on humans are now to follow.
Ein active substance from the pomegranate is possibly suitable for the fight against colon cancer. In clinical studies, researchers at the Frankfurt Cancer Institute want to confirm what they found in laboratory experiments: urolithin A, a metabolite of the pomegranate, can probably change human immune cells so that they can fight tumors better.
The scientists found that urolithin A in T cells promotes the replacement of older and damaged mitochondria with new ones. Mitochondria are the “power plants” of the cell. According to the study, the genetic program of the immune cells changes as a result of the exchange, so that they can attack cancer cells better.
In the laboratory, urolithin A can limit tumor growth and promote the formation of memory T cells, from which new T cells can develop. Apparently, the substance also enhances the effect of other drugs, so that it may be suitable for combination therapies.