Pomegranate Seed Oil for Multiple Sclerosis
The pomegranate is a challenging fruit with a tough rind, and it appears that fighting appearance harbors seeds with potential to battle multiple sclerosis. Researchers have found that pomegranate seed oil contains an extremely strong antioxidant that inhibited demyelination in a mouse model for MS.
Although it’s much too early in the game to stock up on pomegranate seed oil for multiple sclerosis, scientists have uncovered what appears to be a beneficial use for a nano droplet form of pomegranate seed oil (PSO). Nanotechnology allows experts to use extremely tiny (on an atomic and supramolecular scale) particles for a variety of purposes, including medical treatment.
Pomegranate seed oil
Pomegranate seed oil contains a highly potent antioxidant called punicic acid. Also known as trichosanic acid, it is classified as a polyunsaturated fatty acid and a conjugated linolenic acid and has demonstrated some ability to inhibit breast cancer and prevent insulin resistance and diet-induced obesity.
Prior to conducting the current study, the researchers from Hadassah University Hospital and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem had found that administering a nano droplet of the oil (which they named Nano-PSO) to mice with a rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder resulted in a significant reduction in oxidation of brain lipids. Multiple sclerosis also is believed to involve oxidation of brain lipids and proteins as part of demyelination.
Administering pomegranate seed oil as a nanoemulsion (oil-in-water) seems to increase its activity and bioavailability. Using the nano form is especially important because the researchers found that pomegranate seed oil was beneficial in treating the MS-model mice only when it was given at very high doses.
However, when they gave 1 percent of PSO as nano droplets, the benefits were significantly improved. The scientists observed that pomegranate seed oil provided benefits both when it was given to mice at the time the disease was induced and again when the animals began to develop symptoms by day 7.
The authors believe their findings suggest that pomegranate seed oil delivered in nano droplets “dramatically reduced demyelination and oxidation of lipids in the brains of the affected animals, which are hallmarks of this severe neurological disease.” They also proposed that “novel formulations of natural antioxidants” such as pomegranate seed oil in nano droplets may be possible for treatment of individuals with demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Binyamin O et al. Treatment of a multiple sclerosis animal model by a novel nano drop formulation of a natural antioxidant. International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015; 10:7165-74
Grossmann ME et al. Punicic acid is an omega-5 fatty acid capable of inhibiting breast cancer proliferation. International Journal of Oncology 2010 Feb; 36(2): 421-26
Vroegrijk IOCM et al. Pomegranate seed oil, a rich source of punicic acid, prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2011 Jun; 49(6): 1426-30