Inaugurated as professor, Prof. Wiwik Misaco reveals pomegranate’s efficacy to prevent liver fibrosis

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Prof. Wiwik delivers his scientific oration to the inauguration of a new professor. (Photo: Muhammad Alif Fauzan)

UNAIR NEWS – Prof. Dr. Wiwik Misaco Yuniarti, drh. M. Kes was inaugurated as 30th active professor of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FKH), 488th professor of Universitas Airlangga on November 30, 2019. In her scientific oration, Prof. Wiwik conveyed about the benefits of pomegranate as herbal medicines to prevent liver fibrosis.

Liver fibrosis is a condition resulting from a wound healing response due to repeated injury to the liver. Liver fibrosis that is not treated properly will develop into liver cirrhosis. From time to time, the number of sufferers of chronic liver disease continues to increase. Based on a survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States in 2016 there were 4.9 million people suffering from liver disease.

“Chronic liver disease is the sixth leading cause of death in people aged 25-64 years. The causes of liver fibrosis include alcoholism, fatty liver disease, chronic hepatitis B or C virus infection, autoimmune hepatitis, and metabolic or genetic liver disease, ” she explained.

Prof. Wiwik said that until now there has been no effective medical therapy for liver cirrhosis. The most effective treatment for end-stage liver fibrosis is liver transplantation.

“However, the liver transplant process is often constrained by several things, including lack of donor organs, post-surgical complications, immunological reactions, and high medical treatment costs. Therefore, prevention and treatment of liver fibrosis is needed to be done as early as possible, “said the UNAIR expert.

Proving the Truth of Qur’an

Pomegranate is one of the fruits mentioned in the Qur’an as a fruit plant in heaven, in the QS Ar-Rahman verses 68-69 which means: “In both of them are fruit and palm trees and pomegranates. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?”

Efficacy of pomegranates in the Qur’an are proven by some scientific studies that reveal pomegranate fruits are part of a pomegranate plant with the most complete component compared to other parts of pomegranate plants. Pomegranates contain many polyphenol compounds such as flavonoids, hydrolyzable tannins (ellagitannins and gallotannins) and condensed tannins ( proanthocyanidins ). The main active ingredients contained in pomegranates are punicalagin and ellagic acid (EA).

Ellagic acid (EA) contained in pomegranates, is a derivative of polyphenols which are also found in nuts and fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries and grapes. A good standardized pomegranate extract generally contains 40% or more ellagic acid.

“I believe that pomegranates are a favor and a gift given by Allah SWT and they show the power of God in creating everything on earth,” she said.

The professor in veterinary medicine then tried to examine the benefits of pomegranate as an herbal treatment, specifically to overcome liver fibrosis. Various studies on pomegranate activity have proven that pomegranate has the ability of antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer as well as its activity in regulating the process of fibrosis. In addition, pomegranate has been clinically proven to be beneficial for sufferers of cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and used for cosmetics.

The results of research conducted by Prof. Wiwik showed that standardized pomegranate extract with 40% ellagic acid can prevent liver fibrosis by inhibiting the process of necroinflammation and decreasing the expression of various profibrogenic mediators and collagen deposition. It makes standardized pomegranate extract with 40% ellagic acid potential drug for cholestasis liver fibrosis, although further research is still needed, both pre-clinical and clinical. (*)

Author: Zanna Afia

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

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