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Jewish New Year Fruit May Hold Seeds of Hope for Brain Disease Sufferers

Pomegranate (Photo: wikipedia/prathyush thomas)

The pomegranate represents knowledge, learning, and wisdom, which is why Jews eat this fruit during their New Year and why King Solomon designed his crown based on this special fruit. Today, Israeli researchers believe they can use pomegranate oil to slow down aging and help keep the brain healthy.

King Solomon is said to have designed his crown based on that of the pomegranate, and the image of the fruit often appears on ancient coins of Judea. The pomegranate is said to have 613 seeds, which correspond with the 613 Jewish precepts or commandments set out by the Torah regulating the Jewish way of life. For this reason, and because it represents fruitfulness, knowledge, learning and wisdom, and is seasonal in Israel, it customarily appears on Jewish New Year dinner tables.

The association of the pomegranate with knowledge, learning and wisdom may not be far from the truth. Pomegranate seed oil (PSO) contains high concentrations of punicic acid, or omega 5 as it is also called, which is believed to be one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature…

The challenge, said Gabizon [a professor and a researcher of degenerative brain diseases at the Neurology Department of Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem], is to make sure the pomegranate oil that we eat, which generally is filtered out by the liver, gets to the parts of our body which can benefit from it.

So Gabizon teamed up with Prof. Shlomo Magdassi — an expert in the field of nanotechnology from the Casali Institute for Applied Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — and together devised a way to break down the oil into tiny particles that can slip through the liver undetected and make their way to the brain.

Tags: Israeli Innovation

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