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.”

(more…)

Compelling Evidence That Low Levels of Vitamin D Have a Causal Role In Development of High Blood Pressure

New international research published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology has shown that low levels of Vitamin D is not only correlated with hypertension, but actually one of the causes.

An international study examining the relationship between vitamin D status – measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration – and high blood pressure (hypertension) using mendelian randomisation of more than 100,000 people has suggested that low vitamin D may be causally linked to hypertension. The causal role comes from genetic research providing ‘compelling evidence.’

We know that in the absence of vitamin D from sunlight, disease increases more than 1000 percent. (more…)

A Radically New Understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease Causes and Cures

A Radically New Understanding of Alzheimer's Disease Causes and Cures

Alzheimer’s disease is expanding unchecked throughout the modern world, despite billions spent annually on pharmaceutical interventions. Could the calcification of the brain play a role?

Despite the multi-billion dollar successes of conventional pharmacological interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, lackluster treatment outcomes have revealed them to be an abject failure. The ongoing hypothesis for the past few decades has been that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a lack of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, but acetycholinesterase inhibitors (drugs that inhibit the enzyme that breaks this neurotransmitter down) have failed miserably to produce anything but momentary palliative improvements, if that.  In addition, post-marketing surveillance data now clearly shows these drugs may actually cause new, more serious neurological problems, such as seizures.

And why should we surprised? We do not know of a disease in existence that is caused by a lack of a pharmaceutical agent. And what are Alzheimer’s disease drugs but patented xenobiotic chemicals, completely alien to human physiology? Therefore, the answer is to look deeper at the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease, and preventing, addressing and reversing them whenever possible — the perennial goal of compassionate and logical medicine.

Pineal Gland Calcification and Alzheimer’s Disease

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Glutathione—Nature’s First Antioxidant & Master Detoxifier

Goat Whey

Raw goat whey is an excellent source of glutathione.
Glutathione is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. It may also be the most useful nutritional supplement, except that it doesn’t absorb well when taken as a pill or in a capsule.
The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that processed foods, pollution, prescription drugs, stress, trauma, aging, infections, and radiation all deplete glutathione levels.

Low glutathione levels leave you susceptible to unrestrained cell damage from oxidation caused by free radicals, which is associated with chronic infections, cancer, and other chronic diseases. The good news is that we are learning more about glutathione all the time.

What Makes Glutathione So Special?

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7 Proven Ways to Keep Your Brain Young

7 Proven Ways to Keep Your Brain Young

Alzheimer’s disease affects about 5.3 million Americans. It’s the leading cause of dementia and the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.  And it’s growing at an alarming rate.  Already 13% of people over 65 have been diagnosed with the disease.  An astounding 43% of those over the age of 85 are victims.[i]

Alzheimer’s has been called the defining disease of the boomer generation.  Its victims are expected to triple by the year 2050.

In addition, it’s estimated that 10,000,000 others suffer with severe dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

(more…)

Big Pharma want to “Protect” the Elderly from “Dangers” of Coconut Oil and Natural Supplements

deaths in one year due to drugs vs supplements 3 Big Pharma want to Protect the Elderly from Dangers of Coconut Oil and Natural Supplements

Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News Editor

Dr. Taya Varteresian, a board certified psychiatrist working for the Veterans Administration, is the lead publisher in an article to appear in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports titled: “Natural products and supplements for geriatric depression and cognitive disorders: an evaluation of the research.”

According to the abstract, more and more elderly people are starting to use “Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for late-life mood and cognitive disorders.” This obviously concerns psychiatrists, since their main remedies for “cognitive disorders” are powerful anti-psychotic drugs. They are not trained in natural supplements, therefore they apparently felt the need to educate other psychiatrists about the “side effects and indications for various natural products” so that psychiatrists could “protect their patients.” (more…)

Aloe Vera Found to Stave off Alzheimer’s, Improves Cognition

Aloe-Vera-for-Hemorrhoids

Researchers with the University of Miami’s School of Medicine found that a compound from Aloe vera could reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and even increase cognition scores. The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and established participants who received a supplement of aloe polymannose for a period of one year saw significant improvements.Forty-six percent of the study participants experienced improvements in their cognition. Also, several inflammatory factors were reduced in the participants. These factors paired with reduced cytokines are related to a reduction in neuro-inflammation which could trigger Alzheimer’s disease and/or it’s symptoms.

Best of all, unlike Big Pharma solutions, the Aloe product didn’t have side effects.

The research involved a supplement called BiAloe, created by Lorand Laboratories who is no doubt looking to make a profit. It’s always important to keep in mind who is funding the research. However, the health benefits of aloe vera are well established and the research into its effects on Alzheimer’s is promising.

The researchers wrote:

“Participants tolerated the APMC supplement with few, temporary adverse reactions. Our results showed improvements in both clinical and physiological outcomes for a disease that otherwise has no standard ameliorative remedy.”

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5 million Americans. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the country and one-in-three seniors will die while suffering from the disease. Generally, Alzheimer’s treatment is limited to popping Big Pharma solutions that may or may not alleviate the anxiety and stressors of the disease, without actually changing the condition itself. But a new study indicates a solution could be as close as your potted aloe plant.

Other recent research has linked the use of Aloe vera in the treatment and prevention of skin cancer. According to researchers with the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, compounds within the aloe can stop the proliferation of cells associated with skin cancer.

As Case Adams writes:

“The gel of the Aloe leaf and its other plant parts contain many constituents outside of those tested in these studies, including quercetin, luteolin, apigenin, kaempferol, isoorientin, isovitexin, saponarin, lutonarin, chlorogenic acid, pectic acid, caffeic acid, 5-P-coumaroylquinic acid, caffeoylshikimic acid, feruloylquinic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, as well as glycosylchromone aloeresin B, and aloin, which is a precursor to Aloe-emodin (the compound tested in the skin cancer study).”

More from Naturalsociety

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Fluoride combined with even trace amounts of aluminum in water can cause major brain damage

Renowned medical doctor and neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock holds nothing back when it comes to telling it like it is, even when “it” goes against the prevailing schools of thought within his profession. And one of his latest Blaylock Wellness Reports is no exception, shining light on the very real dangers associated with fluoride exposure, especially when that fluoride interacts with other toxic chemicals commonly found in municipal water supplies. (more…)