Pomegranates could keep you looking and feeling younger

 A molecule in pomegranates has been shown to strengthen ageing muscles and extend life.

Pomegranates could keep you looking and feeling younger

Picture by: Rafiq Maqbool / AP/Press Association Images

New research suggests that pomegranates could hold the key to keeping your muscles young.

A team of Swiss scientists have discovered that a molecule, known as urolithin A, which is found in pomegranates, enables muscle cells to protect themselves against one of the major causes of aging.

As we age, our cells can struggle to recharge their 'batteries', known as mitochondria. 

These mitochondria can then build up in the cell, which can affect the health of certain tissues, including muscles, which gradually weaken over the years.

A buildup of dysfunctional mitochondria is also suspected of playing a role in other aging diseases, such as Parkinson's disease.

Picture by: Philip Toscano / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switerland found that eating pomegranates can help to power up these cells.

The findings were published this week in the Nature Medicine journal.

Urolithin A, the miracle molecule at the center of this research, must combine with microbes in the gut in order to produce its healing benefits.

The company is set to begin conducting the first clinical trials testing the molecule in humans in European hospitals.

Pomegranates are already said to have a number of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and strengthening bones.