Nutrient Combo Improves Cognitive Function

A recent study from China shows that the combination of vitamins C and E and beta-carotene can enhance cognitive function in the elderly.

Changes in memory commonly occur as we age. Severe deterioration of cognitive skills, though, can indicate dementia—the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s affects more than five million Americans and experts expect that number to rise to 14 million by 2050. At this point, no cure exists, so prevention is key.

Researchers followed 276 elderly participants who received treatment with vitamins C, E and different doses of beta-carotene, or vitamin E alone. Using standard cognition and dementia tests, they determined that the combination treatment improved cognitive function, particularly with higher doses of beta-carotene.

Blood tests also revealed that the nutrient blend markedly reduced amyloid-beta (which are common in Alzheimer’s patients) and raised estradiol, a form of estrogen that protects neurons and even exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in the brain.

The researchers concluded, “Treatment with vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene results in promising improvements in cognitive function in the elderly.”

Reference:
Li Y, et al. Exp Ther Med. 2015 Apr;9(4):1489-93.

The Real Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease Revealed

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers have not even gotten close to creating effective long-term therapies for this disease. However, a recent breakthrough may open many new doors in the way of prevention, treatment and, hopefully, a cure.

For the past two decades, Alzheimer’s research has focused on what was considered the prime culprit in the development of the disease—amyloid-beta. This sticky protein fragment accumulates in the brain and forms plaques. These plaques disrupt cellular communication in the brain, triggering an inflammatory response that ultimately harms the cells.

But research out of the Mayo Clinic shows that another protein called tau may have an even more significant role in Alzheimer’s disease.1

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How to Rid Your Body of Fluoride from All Sources

State Percentage of Fluoride in WaterHaving fluoride in most drinking water and crop irrigation systems for decades means most people have fluoride accumulated in the tissues of their body, even if it’s in small daily doses that are considered “safe”. Accumulation is the key word.
Avoiding it and getting it out should be a priority, since fluoride creates serious health problems including DNA damage, cancer, thyroid disruption, Alzheimer’s disease, hormone disruption, and pineal gland dysfunction.

 

There are two types of fluorides that can contaminate water. Calcium fluoride is common in water from wells, sometimes even if fed by aquifers. It’s not as toxic as the waste material for phosphate mined fertilizer or aluminum plants that’s added into water supplies.

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How Heavy Metals Are Promoting Aging

It’s been known for decades that some metals, including iron, accumulate in human tissues during aging and that toxic levels of iron have been linked to neurologic diseases, such as Parkinson’s. The fact is that all metals are toxic and the aging and diseases processes run wild without special transport and handling mechanisms to keep them from harming us. This applies just as much as essential minerals, like iron, zinc and chromium, as it does to non-essential metals and metalloids, like cadmium and arsenical compounds.

Metals can directly and indirectly damage DNA and that means an increased risk of cancer (we call this genotoxicity). There are also possibly non-genotoxic pathways, due to irritation or immuno-toxicity. (more…)

Turmeric Extract Improves Brain Function In One Dose

One Dose Of This Kitchen Spice Improves Brain Function

Your spice rack may contain the safest, most fast-acting, brain-boosting substance medical science has yet to confirm effective in a human clinical study. 

A remarkable new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population,” reveals that the primary golden-hued polyphenol found in the ancient Indian healing spice turmeric known as curcumin is capable of improving cognition and mood in elderly adults (60-85) when administered in either short-term [acute], chronic, or short-term-on-chronic dosage schedules.

The study involving 60 healthy adults found that a single dose of 400 mg of a solid curcumin formulation (trade name Longvida® (non-affiliate link)) resulted only one hour later in significantly improved performance on sustained attention and working memory tasks, compared with placebo.

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New Study: Alzheimer’s & Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored

New Study: Alzheimer’s & Aluminum Link Can No Longer Be Ignored

by DR. MERCOLA
 

Aluminum has been long known to be neurotoxic, with mounting evidence that chronic exposure is a factor in many neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.

However, definitive scientific proof is difficult to establish due to the the lack of longitudinal studies, as well as pushback from industries that use aluminum in their products. Despite the shortage of conclusive studies, mounting scientific evidence leaves little room for doubt.

Case in point: a new case study from Keele University in the UK unequivocally shows high levels of aluminum in the brain of an individual exposed to aluminum at work, who later died from Alzheimer’s disease.

While aluminum exposure has been implicated in Alzheimer’s and a number of other neurological diseases, this case claims to be “the first direct link” between Alzheimer’s disease and elevated brain aluminum following occupational exposure.

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How WHOLE Turmeric Heals The Damaged Brain

How Whole Turmeric Heals The Damaged Brain

Long considered impossible to accomplish, new research reveals how a simple spice might contribute to the regeneration of the damaged brain.

Turmeric is hands down one of the, if not the, most versatile healing spice in the world with over 600 experimentally confirmed health benefits, and an ancient history filled with deep reverence for its seemingly compassionate power to alleviate human suffering.

But, most of the focus over the past decade has been centered on only one of its many hundreds of phytocompounds: namely, the primary polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin which gives the spice its richly golden hue.  This curcumin-centric focus has lead to the development of some very good products, such as phospholipid bound curcumin concentrate (e.g. Meriva, BCM-95) which greatly helps to increase the absorption and bio-activity of curcumin. But, curcumin isolates are only capable of conferring a part of turmeric’s therapeutic power – and therein lies the limitation and hubris of the dominant ‘isolate the active ingredient’ model.

Indeed, it has become typical within the so-called nutraceutical industry to emulate the pharmaceutical model, which focuses on identifying a particular “monochemical” tree within the forest of complexity represented by each botanical agent, striving to standardize the delivery of each purported ‘active ingredient’ with each serving, as if it were a pharmaceutical drug. These extraction and isolation processes also generates proprietary formulas which are what manufacturers want to differentiate their product from all others and henceforth capture a larger part of the market share; a value proposition that serves the manufacturer and not the consumer/patient.

Truth be told, there is no singular ‘magic bullet’ in foods and herbs responsible for reproducing the whole plant’s healing power.  There are, in fact, in most healing plants or foods hundreds of compounds orchestrated by the intelligent ‘invisible hand’ of God or ‘Nature,’ or whatever you wish to call it, and which can never be reduced to the activity of a singularly quantifiable phytocompound or chemical.

Beyond The Curcumin ‘Magic Bullet’ Meme

Now, an exciting new study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy provides additional support for the concept that curcumin alone is not enough to explain the healing power of turmeric as a whole plant. The study found that a little known, fat-soluble component within turmeric – Ar-tumerone – may make “a promising candidate to support regeneration in neurologic disease.”

Titled, “Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo,” German researchers evaluated the effects of this turmeric-derived compound on neural stem cells (NSCs) – the subgroup of brain cells capable of continuous self-renewal required for brain repair.

The study found that when brain cells were exposed to ar-tumerone, neural stem cells increased in number through enhanced proliferation. Moreover, these newly formed neural stem cells also increased the number of fully differentiated neuronal cells, indicating a healing effect was taking place. This effect was also observed in a live animal model, showing that rats injected with ar-tumerone into their brains experienced increases in neural stem cell proliferation and the creation of newly formed healthy brain cells.

This study did not go unnoticed by major medical news channels. Here are some good reviews if you wish to explore the implications in greater depth:

The GreenMedInfo.com Turmeric Database Confirms It’s Brain-Saving Power!

As you may already know, our database is the world’s most extensive open access natural medical database on over 1,800 different natural substances, with over 1600 study abstracts on turmeric’s healing properties indexed thus far: view the Turmeric research page here to view!  If you take a look at the laundry list of over 600 diseases that this spice (or its components, e.g. curcumin) has been studied for to prevent and/or treat, the sheer volume of supportive literature is astounding. Amazingly, we have identified over 180 physiological pathways – according to their conventional pharmacological characterization, e.g. COX-2 inhibitor, Interleukin 6 down-regulator – by which turmeric or its components heals the human body.  In addition, you will find over 100 articles on turmeric’s neuroprotective properties on this page: Turmeric as a Neuroprotective agent.

The research clearly indicates that turmeric is a great brain supportive plant. For a more layperson oriented review, read the following articles:

How To Get The Most Out of Your Turmeric

One of the most frequent questions we field is ‘what is the best type of turmeric or curcumin to use’? Obviously, given the aforementioned research, the whole plant is going to carry a wider range of therapeutic compounds than curcumin alone. And yet, most have been heavily enculturated to focus entirely on the ‘how much’ question, opting to identify the molecular weight (i.e. how many milligrams in a serving) of a particular compound as more important than the qualitative dimensions (e.g. is it organic? It is delivered within its natural context as food or a whole plant?) which reflect the type of nutrigenomic information the substance contains, and therefore the ‘intelligence’ it embodies. To learn more about the intelligence of food watch my e-course ‘The Wisdom of Food.’

And really, there is no generic answer to a generic question about the best way to take turmeric/curcumin. The question always comes from an individual with a particular need, and so, recommendations must be bio-individualized.

For instance, if you have colonic inflammation or polyps, and you are trying to use turmeric to reduce inflammation there or regress precancerous growths, then using the whole plant is best versus a highly bioavailable form of curcumin in capsule form (e.g. Meriva), for instance, which will likely be absorbed by the small intestine and mostly pass through the liver never getting adequate quantities to the large intestine. So, in this person’s case taking a teaspoon of relatively difficult to absorb turmeric may result in painting the diseased surfaces of that person’s intestinal or colonic lumen with exactly the form needed to reverse disease.

But what if you have someone who wants to experience a systemic effect, say, for arthritis or for brain cancer? In these instances, getting turmeric compounds such as curcumin through the glucuronidation barrier in the liver with a phospholipid-bound or black pepper (piperine) combination could be ideal. There is certainly a place for the ‘nutraceutical’ model when properly applied, especially when provided as an adjuvant to the pharmaceutical model within an integrative medical setting.

Ultimately, the goal is not to wait to have such a serious health problem that you have to force yourself to take a ‘heroic dose’ of any herb or food extract. Better is to use small amounts in culinary doses in combination with ingredients that synergize on a physiochemical/informational and sensual basis (producing the all important vitamin P [pleasure] as well!). Recently we actually featured a study that showed culinary doses of rosemary helped improve memory whereas higher ‘heroic’ doses impaired it!

This is why exploring the use of turmeric in curries, or by adding a pinch in a smoothie, may be an ideal daily supplementation approach, versus capsules, whose questionably ‘natural’ capsules and excipients all can add up to cause some stress on the liver you are trying to protect with these natural interventions.  Just remember quality is everything and less is more!

Exciting Alzheimer’s Treatment Out of India

Alzheimer’s disease is perhaps one of the most dreaded diseases of old age. While research has made great strides in the realm of prevention—uncovering several brain-supportive nutritional supplements that help protect against cognitive deterioration—significantly less progress has been achieved in the way of long-term treatment or cure.

But, thankfully, that is slowly changing. And yet again, research proves that nature provides the best potential medicine for even the worst of diseases.

In a recently published study, a team of researchers examined the leaves of a tropical tree known as “neem” (Azadirachta indica) for its effects on Alzheimer’s disease.1 Native to India, Sri Lanka and neighboring countries with similar tropical climates, the neem tree serves multiple functions—in fact, almost every part has some special use.

The tree’s fruit is edible; its wood can be used to make furniture; the leaves and bark have been used in teas, cosmetics and medicinal preparations; twigs can be made into toothbrushes; and neem oil has insecticidal and fungicidal properties.

Because previous studies have also shown that the neem tree possesses anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and cognition-enhancing attributes,2-4 researchers in the current study wanted to see if neem had any influence on Alzheimer’s disease.

This study used rats that had artificially induced Alzheimer’s disease, minus a group of “sham” controls that did not have any brain alterations, nor did they receive any treatment during the course of the experiment other than placebos.

Prior to Alzheimer’s induction, select rats received seven days of pretreatment with A. indica, while the remaining did not. The rats were then randomly divided into several groups to undergo various cognitive and neurobehavioral tests, including:

  • The open field test, which checked for locomotor activity and exploratory behavior.
  • The elevated plus maze behavior test, which analyzed anxiety levels. (Higher anxiety levels lead to decreased mobility, with animals preferring to stay in darkness versus open areas that allow for movement and exploration.)
  • The forced swim test, which checked for depressant/antidepressant activity. In this test, researchers observed the rats’ period of immobility in a contained cylinder filled with water to note how long they remained floating without struggling, making only the necessary movements to keep their heads above water.
  • The Morris’ water maze test, which evaluated spatial learning, reference memory and working memory.
  • Conditioned avoidance behavior testing, during which researchers looked for active avoidance learning, acquisition and retention.

After the experimental period, the rats were sacrificed under anesthesia and their forebrains collected for analysis.

The researchers found that for all tests conducted, the rats pretreated with A. indica performed better than the controls.

For instance, in the open field test, the pretreated rats had increased numbers of movements. In the elevated plus maze test, researchers noted that the non-treated rats spent more time in isolation, while the rats pretreated with A. indica did not.

In the forced swim test, the A. indica pretreatment reduced immobility compared to control animals, suggesting antidepressant activity. The Morris’ maze test showed that reference memory and spatial learning improved in all groups, which researchers noted “confirms the memory-enhancing effect of this herbal drug.”

Finally, in the conditioned avoidance paradigm, A. indica-pretreated rats displayed better learning and retention of learned behavior.

The researchers concluded, “It is well evident that…A. indica is effective in reversing the neurobehavioral changes, attenuating the cognitive deficits and decreasing the oxidative stress in experimental [Alzheimer’s disease] models.”

Of course, being a preliminary study, further research on humans must be conducted to verify these results—but they definitely look promising.

Any patient with Alzheimer’s hopes for as much time as possible to live a normal, independent life—and if something as simple and natural as a tree/plant extract can provide that, it’s undoubtedly worth further experimentation.

If you or someone you love currently deals with cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease, it doesn’t hurt to start supplementing now with neem leaf products, many of which can easily be found at health food stores and online.

References:

  1. Raghavendra M, et al. Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2013 Jan-Jun;3(1):37-47.
  2. Jaiswal AK, et al. Indian J Exp Biol. 1994 Jul;32(7):489-91.
  3. Chattopadhyay RR. Indian J Exp Biol. 1998 Apr;36(4):418-20.
  4. Verma S, et al. Indian J Pharmacol. 1989;21:46-50.

http://www.wholehealthinsider.com/brain-health/exciting-potential-alzheimers-treatment-india/

Ginger Shows Promise As An Anti-Alzheimer’s Agent

Researchers Find Ginger May Be The Perfect 'Drug Alternative' for Alzheimer's

Cutting edge science now points to this common spice as a possible ‘curative agent’ for Alzheimer’s. Considering the well-known harms and lack of effectiveness associated with pharmaceutical agents for this condition, this research promises a new therapeutic path for this so-called ‘incurable’ disease.

A new study published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology suggests that ginger may be an excellent natural anti-Alzheimer’s (AD) treatment.

Indian researchers at the Department of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, report that ginger may provide “multiple therapeutic molecular targets of AD and can be considered as an effective nontoxic nutraceutical supplement for AD.”

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