A new study shows that extracts from the fruit Pomegranate have been shown to block enzymes that contribute to cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis. Although findings are still at a preliminary stage and not yet proven in humans it is likely to encourage further consumption of pomegranate juice say researchers.
A team of researchers from the Case Western Reserve University found that a water extract of pomegranate fruit inhibited stimulation of certain enzymes in human cartilage cells affected by osteoarthritis. Production of these enzymes, matrix metalloproteases, is speeded up by the pro-inflammatory protein interleukin-1b (IL-1b) during osteoarthritis, leading to cartilage degradation and damage to joints.
Thus researchers suggest that consumption of pomegranate fruit extract may help in protecting cartilage from the effects of IL-1b by suppressing cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis.
However they say that Further research will be needed to determine the absorption rate of pomegranate fruit extracts in the joints and to confirm in animals whether the fruit extract promotes cartilage repair. Researchers also say that if future studies prov e positive, pomegranate fruit extract could be successfully used in supplements or foods as it is already safely consumed in the form of juice.