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Pomegranate Lotion Offers Hope in War on Superbugs

THE secret to beating the superbug MRSA could be found in the pomegranate.

Scientists have created an ointment that tackles drugresistant infections by harnessing chemicals that are contained in the fruit's rind. They found that by combining pomegranate rind with other natural products they created a strong, infection-busting compound. It is hoped that this could lead to the creation of a lotion for hospital patients, or even an antibiotic.

The need for a new method of tackling superbugs is growing more and more desperate as they continue to develop resistance to common antibiotics. Professor Declan Naughton, biomolecular scientist at the University of Kingston, Surrey, said the breakthrough by his team was significant and argued that one way to solve the problem of growing drug resistance was to investigate natural products. He added: 'A great deal of medicines come from plants, but the normal approach taken by the pharmaceutical industry is to try to find one particular active molecule. 'We found that combining three ingredients - pomegranate rind, vitamin C and a metal salt - gave a much more potent effect; killing off, or inhibiting, drug-resistant microbes from growing. 'It was the mix that fantastically increased the activity - there was synergy, where the combined effects were much greater than those exhibited by individual components. It shows nature still has a few tricks up its sleeve.' Professor Naughton said he hoped the fact that natural products were being used would mean patients would suffer fewer side - effects.

However, it will be a long time before any pomegranate-derived lotions come on to the market. Despite three years of research, the Kingston scientists are still at the stage of testing the fruit's actions on MRSA bacteria in the lab. More testing will be needed to see if it would work on a patient in the ward.

Professor Anthony Coates, a medical microbiologist at St George's Hospital in London, urged caution. He said: 'This observation - the fact it has acted against MRSA and other drug-resistant infections - is potentially significant. 'But we need to remember it is early research, of an observational nature, in vitro. 'The need for new antibiotics is acute. To put it in context, about 20 new classes of antibiotics were marketed between 1940 and 1962 yet only three have been marketed since. 'In all classes, resistance has arisen.

Most antibiotics come from nature, so it is very valid to look at natural sources.

Probiotics or “friendly bacteria” can support the immune system. “Because the bulk of the immune system is in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract if you ensure intestinal Health and harmony it has the benefit of supporting overall immune function.

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By Daniel Martin
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.