Pomegranate juice adds days to life

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Pomegranate juice as a potential source of rich vitamins and antioxidants is well known. But researchers have proved the fruit can also add years to life.

The study has found that fruit flies fed with pomegranate juice not only lived longer but also were resistant to some diseases and produced more offspring. It was done by scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the Trans-disciplinary University (TDU) and Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bengaluru, to validate the Rasayana discipline in Ayurveda, which explains methods to rejuvenate, improve quality of life and delay ageing with the help of pomegranate.

As part of the study, a species of fruit fly called Drosophila melanogaster was fed two different diets: a routine nutrient medium and another supplemented with pomegranate juice. Flies fed with the juice lived longer — 23 days versus 20.8 (about 19% longer). Also, the number of offspring produced was two times higher in the flies fed pomegranate juice. They were also more resistant to fungal infection than the flies given the normal medium.

Asked if the results hold good for humans too, Upendra Nongthomba, associate professor in the department of molecular reproduction, development and genetics, IISc, said validating the longevity factor in humans will take longer and hence they chose flies to see the impact. “But the other benefits of pomegranate as mentioned in Ayurveda are proven,” he added.

Padmavathy Venkatasubramanian, professor at TDU and a principal investigator, said, “Rasayana in Ayurveda deals with methods of rejuvenation such as dietary recipes and regimen, herbal and mineral supplements, and health-promoting lifestyles that are said to enhance quality of life and delay ageing.”

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