PomeGreat Pomegranate capsules and drink
The PomeGreat PurePlus capsules.

Pomegranate helps fight heart disease, relieves stress and improves your sex life.

Now the fruit is being hailed as the elixir of youth, according to a recent study.

The £2 million study, funded by PomeGreat PurePlus, has discovered that a daily dose of pomegranate could slow down the ageing process of DNA.

Consumption of the pomegranate extract has shown evidence of slowing down the deterioration of DNA by guarding against DNA oxidation which could therefore delay ageing.

A concentrated extract of the whole fruit, including the pith, peel and seeds, was given to 60 volunteers every day for a month in the form of a capsule.

Researchers monitored the activity of chemicals in their bodies compared to participants who took a placebo.

They discovered a considerable decrease in a marker associated with cell damage, which can cause impaired brain, muscle, liver and kidney function as well as ageing effects on the skin.

The original extract used in the study, Pomanox, is now on sale in capsule form (PurePlus) in the UK and has been added exclusively to pomegranate juice drinks sold by PomeGreat.

Previously an unknown benefit of consuming pomegranate, the decrease is thought to slow down the oxidation, or 'rusting', of the DNA in cells which occurs naturally over time, say researchers from ProbelteBio laboratory in Spain.

The properties are found in small quantities in the juice but mostly in the rind, husk, and white pith parts of the fruit which has been developed into a pill and a drink form.

"We are very excited about this study which we believe demonstrates that regular consumption of this new pomegranate extract can slow down the process of DNA oxidation," said Dr Sergio Streitenberger, who led the study.

"We get old because we fall apart, cell by cell. One way to look at ageing is to think of it as rusting or oxidising; a damaging process."

The researchers observed a decrease in the levels of a chemical marker called 8-Oxo-DG in the participants' urine following their intake of soft-gel capsules containing the original pomegranate extract. Concentrations of 8-Oxo-DG in urine are a measurement of oxidative stress.

"The free radicals that oxidise our body's molecules include fats, heavy metals and numerous other chemical compounds we breathe, eat or drink. If free radicals reach the DNA of our cells, the damage is cumulative and significant," Streitenberger said.

"Being able to guard against this process would be a significant breakthrough."

Pomegranate has long been hailed a superfood and contains a rich source of Vitamin A, C and E. The fruit is often touted as an outstanding source of iron and antioxidants - chemicals which help neutralise harmful oxygen molecules called free radicals.