The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 19 No. 5 • June 2016


TURMERONE (CONSTITUENT OF TURMERIC ROOT) INDUCES NEURAL STEM CELL PROLIFERATION IN VIVO

There are other constituents of turmeric root that have beneficial effects besides CURCUMIN. That’s why we take a supplement of the whole turmeric root (in encapsulated powdered form). One of the other bioactive constituents is turmerone. “Curcumin and ar-turmerone [aromatic turmerone] are the major bioactive compounds of the herb Curcuma longa [turmeric].” (Hucklenbroich, 2014) Turmerone has not been studied nearly as extensively as curcumin, but the evidence to date supports antitumor and antiinflammatory properties against the inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases. A recent paper (Hucklenbroich, 2014) provides evidence that turmerone can induce neural stem cell proliferation in vivo.

Neural stem cells (NSC) are mobilized for regenerative processes when brain injury takes place, such as that caused by stroke, ischemia (deficient oxygen availability), or neurological disorders.

Fetal rats were given various doses of turmerone (ar-turmerone) and the effects on the proliferation of NSC (part of the neurogenesis process) determined in vitro as well as in vivo. “Both in vitro and in vivo data suggest that ar-turmerone induces NSC proliferation. Ar-turmerone thus constitutes a promising candidate to support regeneration in neurologic disease.” (Hucklenbroich, 2014)

An article by Will Block containing much more information on turmerone was published in the March 2015 issue of Life Enhancement magazine, pp. 11-13.

EGCG INCREASES NEUROGENESIS IN ADULT MICE

In another study of neurogenesis, adult mice were treated with EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate, the major bioactive constituent of green tea) for four weeks and then their brains were examined for cell proliferation in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is one of the areas of the brain most vulnerable to damage. Hence, the ability to produce new cells for repair is highly beneficial and, importantly, these new cells can migrate to other areas of the brain. (Yoo, 2009)

The results showed that oral administration of EGCG increased the number of new cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in adult mice. We take EGCG in the form of our Green Tea Booster EGCG Capsules.

EGCG INCREASES THE NUMBER OF NEURAL STEM CELLS IN AREAS OF DAMAGED BRAIN

Another paper (Itoh, 2012) reported that EGCG increased the number of neural stem cells in the damaged area of rat brain after traumatic injury.

THE SSRI (SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITOR) DRUG FLUOXETINE MAKES NEW NEURONS GROW FASTER

Fluoxetine (PROZAC®) is one of a large class of antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), because it inhibits the reuptake of serotonin from neuronal synapses to the vesicles where it is stored for reuse. By inhibiting its reuptake, though, the drug keeps serotonin in the synapes, so that its signal is prolonged.

Fluoxetine (and some other SSRIs) have interesting effects besides prolonging the serotonin signal in the neuronal synapse. A 2008 paper (Hen, 2008) reported that fluoxetine increased the number of newborn neurons and, in addition, it caused these newborn neurons to grow more branch-like extensions called dendrites than cells not treated with fluoxetine. The extensions connect the neurons to other neurons and form networks.

SSRIs have been associated with rare incidents of impulsive violent events such as school shootings. The likely reason for this is that, because tryptophan is used to make serotonin and serotonin in the synapse is destroyed (unless it is taken back into the storage vesicles), a deficiency of tryptophan can occur in those taking SSRIs and who do not consume enough tryptophan in their diet. It is well known that tryptophan deficiency can result in increased impulsivity, including violent impulsivity (against others or self, even including suicide). So, if you want to try an SSRI, be sure to take a tryptophan supplement along with it. Some people do not have adequate quantities of tryptophan hydroxylase that converts tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan in the conversion pathway to serotonin; for those people, a supplement of 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a good idea.

References

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