According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately 3 million adults in the United States have some form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Moreover, the percentage of adults with IBD is continuing to grow, though the reason for this remains unclear.
Generally speaking, inflammatory bowel disease refers to two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, each of which is characterized by long-term inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Recently, researchers from the University of Louisville in Kentucky identified a compound that helped to significantly improve IBD symptoms. The researchers also provided a possible explanation of why this compound was so effective, though their hypothesis requires further analysis.
The compound found to improve IBD symptoms is called urolithin A (UroA), a metabolite produced by the interaction of gut bacteria and specific polyphenols. These specific polyphenols are found in pomegranates, as well as several other fruits and berries.
A synthetic version of UroA, known as UAS03, was shown to have a similar therapeutic effect on IBD symptoms.
A variety of previous studies have already shown that UroA provides many health benefits. For example, it inhibits inflammatory activity, and slows certain aspects of aging.
In their recent study, the researchers determined that both UroA and UAS03 were able to reduce inflammation in the gut by tightening the tissue which lines the gut, consequently preventing toxins from passing through.
While consuming pomegranates is certainly helpful, the researchers are hoping that UAS03 will be a surer way to ease the suffering of IBD.
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