INFECTIONS
February 2, 2010

Pomegranate Beats Infection

An ointment made of pomegranate rind and metal salts successfully combated MRSA, a notoriously hard-to-treat staph infection.

A research team at London’s Kingston University says that common hospital infections like the difficult−to−treat methicillin−resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can be effectively treated by applying an ointment made of pomegranate rind.

Combining the pomegranate extract with metal salts combated MRSA most successfully. And adding vitamin C to the mix effectively warded off other infections often seen in hospitals.

How do the researchers feel about the harnessing the power of natural products to treat resistant infections? Fairly optimistic: '[i]t shows that nature still has a few tricks up its sleeve,' he said.

“We have developed a topical ointment that can successfully attack a range of drug−resistant microbes. It's a breakthrough and a striking example of the effectiveness of adding more components to create a more active product," says lead researcher Declan Naughton.

Hospital infections can be difficult to treat because they often become increasingly resistant to the use of common antibiotics. Such is the case with MRSA, the most familiar of the antibiotic resistant bugs.

“The increase in drug−resistant infections found in hospitals has made our research topical and pressing," said Naughton. "The idea of using a foodstuff is unusual and means that the body should be able to cope more easily with its application; patients are less likely to experience any major side−effects."

How do the researchers feel about the harnessing the power of natural products to treat resistant infections? Fairly optimistic: "[i]t shows that nature still has a few tricks up its sleeve," he said.

The research was reported in the British Journal of Biomedical Science and BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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