Pomegranate Lotion Offers New Hope in War on Superbugs

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

Scientists have created an ointment that tackles drug-resistant
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.’

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January
4, 2010

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