By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
My latest blog on my homepage
focused on the increasing rise in dementia and a new viewpoint on how to
address and prevent disease progression.
The following excerpts provide a
more cheery read with highlights on various natural solutions to protect our minds.
Ginger’s Protection Against Brain Damage and
Here’s a natural “anti-inflammatory”
that acts as a modulator to health. This is due to the fact that herbs and
foods have more than one active consistent for balancing biochemistry. In this
study, ginger doubles its prowess with brain and circulatory protection!
ischemia is known to produce brain damage and related behavioral deficits
including memory. Recently, accumulating lines of evidence showed that dietary
enrichment with nutritional antioxidants could reduce brain damage and improve
cognitive function. In this study, possible protective effect of Zingiber
officinale, a medicinal plant reputed for neuroprotective effect against
oxidative stress-related brain damage, on brain damage and memory deficit
induced by focal cerebral ischemia was elucidated. ..
The cognitive enhancing effect and
neuroprotective effect occurred partly via the antioxidant activity of the
extract. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the beneficial effect of ginger
rhizome to protect against focal cerebral ischemia.
Jintanaporn Wattanathorn, et al.
Zingiber officinale Mitigates Brain Damage and Improves Memory Impairment in
Focal Cerebral Ischemic Rat. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011:
429505. Published online 2010 December 20. doi:10.1155/2011/429505
Drink this for your Brain
Green tea (GT) anyone?
This study provided another
reason to drink this favorite Asian beverage (GT). In this study, GT provided protection of
nerves in the brain through nutrigenomic effects (its constituents actually
interplayed positively with gene expression!).
rats presented higher reduced and lower oxidized glutathione levels and
displayed favorable alterations in antioxidant enzyme activities compared to
C-19 M animals. In addition, GT increased CREB activation and the levels of
BDNF and Bcl-2, but had no effect on activation of NF-kappaB subunits, relative
to age-matched controls. We conclude that long-term GT ingestion improves
antioxidant systems and activates CREB in the aging rat hippocampal formation, leading to neuroprotection mediated by
downstream upregulation of BDNF and Bcl-2.
Marco Assunção, Maria J
Santos-Marques, Félix Carvalho, José P Andrade. Green tea averts age-dependent
decline of hippocampal signaling systems related to antioxidant defenses and
survival (abstract). Free Radic Biol Med. 2010 Mar 15;48(6):831-838. Epub 2010
Jan 11. PMID: 20064606
Avoid this to Keep your Brain Strong
Sorry alcohol lovers, no luck in
brain health for this luxury. This study
showed that anything more than light drinking can hurt your brain long-term.
(Visit me on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare
website to read more on the brain effects of alcohol.)
A study has
concluded that moderate drinking and binge drinking may have no noticeable
effects on motor skills or overall daily functioning short-term, but decreases
the making of new adult brain cells by as much as 40 percent, significantly
reducing brain structural plasticity and having an adverse long-term effect on
learning and memory. (Light drinking each day, defined as two drinks daily for
men and one drink daily for women, is generally considered beneficial for
cardiovascular and brain health.
given daily alcohol equivalent to five drinks for men and 3-4 drinks for women
for just two weeks, nerve cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain where
new neurons are made, dropped 40 percent lower than those in abstinent rats.
This study will not be published until the November 8, 2012 issue of the
journal Neuroscience, but it can be accessed online now at http://tinyurl.com/c83gwyd
with subscription or fee.
American Association of
Naturopathic Physicians. AANP Daily News – Moderate-High Alcohol Intake
Decreases New Brain Cells. www.naturopathic.org. Friday, October 31, 2012.
Swimming in Brain Protection
Finally, here’s a look at the
power of the antioxidant, astaxanthin, contained in krill oil. It seems this
ocean native not only has heart benefits, but also cognition boosting power!
study we tried to confirm the effect of an astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus
pluvialis extract on cognitive function in 96 subjects by a randomised
double-blind placebo-controlled study..
size, however, was small to show a significant difference in cognitive function
between the astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract and placebo
groups. No adverse effect on the subjects was observed throughout this study.
In conclusion, the results suggested that astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus
pluvialis extract improves cognitive function in the healthy aged individuals.
Katagiri M, Satoh A, Tsuji S,
Shirasawa T. Effects of astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract on cognitive
function: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (abstract). J
Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 Sep;51(2):102-7. Epub 2012 Mar 30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22962526
In conclusion, remember that a lot
can be done to prevent brain deterioration. The old saying of, “an ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure,” holds true!
So, spice up your food with ginger,
drink green tea (I put ginger in my green tea!), reduce your consumption of
alcohol, and listen to one of your favorite Naturopathic Doctors when she
recommends consumption of fish or Krill oil. 🙂