A new study published September 26, 2014 in the Stem Cell Research & Therapy journal suggests that a component of turmeric, aromatic (ar-) turmerone, induces and increases neural stem cell proliferation.
Turmeric has been found to have numerous health benefits with especially powerful anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that can improve cognitive function and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. A study published back in 2012 demonstrated three months of treatment, where Alzheimer’s patients were given a daily turmeric supplement, resulted in a significant decrease of severe behavioral and psychological symptoms, and in two instances, patients came to recognize their family within one year of treatment (Hishikawa 2012).
This new study may provide even more insight as to why turmeric is proving so effective in treating neurologic disorders:
- “The targeted (that is, pharmacologic) activation of endogenous NSCs [neural stem cells] has been shown to enhance self-repair and recovery of function in the adult brain in both stroke [13,14] and neurodegeneration” (Hucklenbroich et al., 2014).
- “At certain concentrations, ar-turmerone was shown to increase NSC [neural stem cells] proliferation by up to 80%, without having any impact on cell death” (BioMed Central, 2014).
Ar-turmerone’s ability to regenerate the brain’s stem cells has important implications in the event of stroke, dementia and neurodegeneration. This study was performed on rats in vivo and in vitro, and researchers concluded ar-turmerone is a prime candidate for developing a future drug to induce regeneration in neurodegenerative disorders/diseases.
Yet another reason to add this superfood to your arsenal!
Aggarwal, Bharat B. and Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar. “Potential Therapeutic Effects of Curcumin, the Anti-inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Diseases.” The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 40–59. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2637808/
Hishikawa, Nozomi, Yoriko Takahashi, and U. K. Krishna. “Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” Ayu. 2012 Oct-Dec; 33(4): 499-504. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665200/
Hucklenbroich, Joerg, Rebecca Klein, Bernd Neumaier, Rudolf Graf, Gereon Rudolf Fink, Michael Schroeter and Maria Adele Rueger.“Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo.” Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 26 September 2014. www.stemcellres.com/content/5/4/100
Monet Euan is a health & wellness writer, researcher and consultant based in Los Angeles, California. She founded Transcend by Monet, an integrative health support system, to provide others with the information and resources to explore their options and make informed health decisions. For more information, please visit transcendbymonet.com.
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