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publicado em 02/02/2010 às 17h00:00
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Researchers investigating pomegranate extract and discover natural steroid

Scientists find natural steroid present in pomegranate seeds that can be used to stimulate uterine contractions

 
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The fruit of the pomegranate, the object of study
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The fruit of the pomegranate, the object of study

Scientists at Liverpool University and Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, found that a naturally occurring steroid, present in pomegranate seeds, could be used to stimulate uterine contractions.

The team identified the beta-sitosterol - a steroid that can inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine - the main component of the extract of pomegranate seeds. Research suggests that pomegranate extract may be used as a natural stimulant for uterine contractions during labor.

The pomegranate juice has several health benefits as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, protect against some cancers, but until now there is no evidence to show its effects on the uterus. Researchers investigated the pomegranate seed extract - much more concentrated than juice - and its effect on the uterine smooth muscle.

Professor Sue Wray, Department of Physiology University, said: "The earlier study suggested that the antioxidant properties of pomegranate and anti-inflammatory drugs have a positive impact on health. We wanted to understand its effect on uterine contractions to help us explore new ways of treating women who may face difficult tasks. Currently, the only medicine available to treat women with a uterus contracting poorly is oxytocin, a hormone that works only about 50% of the time.

Dr Sajeera Kupittayanant, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, explains: "We found that beta-sitosterol was the main constituent of pomegranate extract, a steroid present in many plant species, but particularly rich in pomegranate seeds. We added the statement samples of tissue from the uterus of animals and found that muscle cells increased their activity.

"The next step is to investigate how beta-sitosterol in pomegranate extract can increase the calcium, but it could be a significant advance in identifying new ways to treat disorders of work."

The research, published in Reproductive Sciences, will support the work being carried out in a new center dedicated to improving the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth for women worldwide.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Steroid    Uterine contractions    Pomegranate    Cholesterol   
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