Curcumin shows Results in Rebuilding & Protecting Brain Cells after Stroke

The benefits of curcumin just never seem to end. This amazing plant compound (the active ingredient in turmeric) offers a wide array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as stifling growth of abnormal cells. Curcumin has been shown to be safe when consumed in high amounts (like 12 grams) per day, however benefit is seen in just 100 mgs daily. Curcumin has been shown to improve:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes & Depression
  • Arthritis & Inflammation
  • Several forms of Cancer
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Crohns and other Digestive Problems

A new curcumin hybrid compound called CBN-001 has demonstrated it could protect and restore brain cells after stroke in laboratory models. In tests, CBN-001 administered up to one hour after stroke effectively reduced motor control movement problems. This hybrid compound protected and nourished neurons (brain cells) while repairing stroke damage on a molecular level.

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Wonderful – Terrible – Prednisone

Prednisone is a synthetic form of corticosteroid that can be administered in topical, injectable, or oral form. Corticosteroids are a class of steroid’s which act like hormones that are produced by the adrenal gland.

Prednisone is prescribed to very effectively suppress immune system response when treating a variety of inflammatory diseases and disorders. This includes arthritis, eczema, some cancers, irritable bowel symptoms, asthma, allergic reactions, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain conditions and many others.

When our bodies are under stress, a natural steroid hormone called cortisol is a released. Cortisol is part of the “fight or flight” response which causes changes to blood pressure, blood sugar, immune and inflammatory response. These changes are not harmful when the body has a chance to recover from the stress inducing event. Stress responses can become very problematic if triggered too frequently.

The immune system cannot operate properly under the influence of excessive cortisol. Impaired immunity leaves the door open to illness and disease. Because prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid it should be used cautiously, infrequently, and sparingly to reduce the likelihood of complications. When used judiciously, it can be a wonderful drug.

However, when prednisone is taken for more than a few weeks, it causes the adrenal gland to shrink, producing fewer natural steroid hormones. That is why discontinuing prednisone and other corticosteroids much be done slowly so that the adrenal gland can return to normal production. Sudden drug withdrawal can trigger dangerous side effects. There are also some terrible possible side effects and complications which can occur when using prednisone:

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Ward-off winter blues, depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder with Vitamin D

winter girlA study conducted by the Department of Medicine at the Union Memorial Hospital in Maryland compared photolight therapy to the use of vitamin D on a group of subjects with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

The randomized controlled trial found that after one month the subjects who received phototherapy showed no significant improvements in their vitamin D levels or in their depression. However, the group who received vitamin D experienced significant reductions in their depression and showed increased levels of vitamin D in their blood serum.

The study concluded that vitamin D3 may be a valuable treatment for SAD.

Multiple studies on the use of vitamin D for depression, anxiety and cognitive disorders have been listed at the Vitamin D Council site.

Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 provides 5000 iu’s per dose of highly bioavailable vitamin D3 with the additional benefit of vitamin K2 for increased bone and vascular health. Many people who were disappointed with vitamin D in capsule form have enjoyed the ease of use and up to 95% absorption provided in this delicious drinkable isotonic solution.

Curcumin – Nature’s Antidepressant

Curcumin is the most biologically active ingredient found in the herb, turmeric, which is part of the ginger family. Grandpa and sonUsed for centuries in Indian cooking, this potent phytochemical (plant chemical) has been identified as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid (inhibits abnormal protein deposits – like brain plaque), anti-tumor (causes apoptosis or cell death in cancerous cells) and enhances immune system function by increasing the production of glutathione.

If that wasn’t enough – there’s more!

A recent study published in Psychopharmacology on curcumin found that it behaves like a natural antidepressant by increasing serotonin as well as dopamine levels.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is often treated with antidepressants to balance MAO’s (monoamine oxidase enzymes). A safe and natural compound like curcumin could be a very welcome option for many.

Unfortunately, most natural forms of curcumin are not very bioavailable. By the time they pass from the stomach into the small intestine for absorption the active ingredient is quite degraded and has lost its potency. However, a naturally-occurring and patented form of curcumin has been developed called BCM-95®, which delivers six times more bioactive curcumin into the blood than typical curcumin.

Curcumin Extreme contains this optimal type of pharmacologically bioactive curcumin known as BCM-95® in a unique synergistic formula.

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published study results recommending that vitamin D3 be used in conjunction with curcumin to prevent Alzheimer’s and cellular damage/destruction to brain cells caused by free radicals through oxidative stress.

According to Dr. Milan Fiala, study author and a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, “We hope that vitamin D3 and curcumin, both naturally occurring nutrients, may offer new preventive and treatment possibilities for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 is a drinkable, highly bioavailable and active form of D3. Using Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 along with Curcumin Extreme™ would be an excellent response to Dr. Fiala’s suggestion.

Wondering if cholesterol lowering drugs are making you stupid?… Study shows they may be

Old Worried GuyThe Wall Street Journal published the first allegations of cholesterol lowering statin drugs being associated with dementia. In the article, Dr. Orli Etingin (vice chairman of medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center) stated that Lipitor “makes women stupid.”

Dr. Etingin was referring to several of her patients using statins that were unable to focus, recall words and displayed other cognitive deficiencies. According to Dr. Etingin, the impairments vanished when use of the statin drug was discontinued and returned when the statins were reintroduced.

Two British experts in Alzheimers and dementia, Louise Morse and Roger Hitchins, write that the most common causes of memory loss they see in both men and women are due to depression, poor nutrition and statin drug use.

Some doctors have suspected that certain cognitive disruptions are triggered when statin drugs (like Simvastatin) cross the blood brain barrier and interfere with the central nervous system. Another possibility is that because the brain is composed largely of cholesterol, lowering cholesterol could slow thought and memory connections. Statins have also been linked to abnormal tau proteins forming in the brain, as seen in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A new study may provide even more disturbing evidence as to the impact statins have on cognitive function.

This fascinating study published July 2008 in Glia by Dr. Steven Goldman and Dr. Fraser Sim discovered that statin drugs inhibit a specific type of brain cell.

These specialized brain cells are called glial progenitor cells. Glial progenitor cells function much like stem cells. They spring into action when the brain has experienced some type of distress and transform into any type of cell needed by the brain. These adaptive cells help restore white matter after strokes, infection, trauma, or inflammation brought on by the aging process, or diseases like multiple sclerosis.

Statins negatively impact glial progenitor cells by switching off their adaptive capabilities. After statin exposure the glial progenitor cells permanently became oligodendrocytes cells.

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Absorbing Resveratrol is the Key

Michael J. Fox was recently on Oprah discussing the progress his Parkinson’s research foundation has made lock-and-keyseeking treatments for this degenerative disease. He referenced promising results Dr. Benjamin Wolozin discovered using the grape skin extract known as resveratrol.

In the grant abstract written for Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s Research Foundation, Dr. Wolozin discusses synthetic resveratrol formulas which are under production by the biotech-nology company Sirtris and states: “Despite its popular appeal, resveratrol suffers as a pharmacological compound because it is not absorbed by the body well”.

Fortunately another company has already tackled the absorption issues related to natural compounds like resveratrol and pycnogenol. The company is Isotonix® and they have addressed the human digestive process by providing nutrients in patented natural isotonic solutions. If a vitamin or antioxidant is delivered in an isotonic form, the body can receive maximum value in the shortest amount of time. Providing resveratrol, vitamins and other antioxidants by isotonic delivery is ideal for our digestive systems – natural, gentle, potent and effective.

Isotonix® Resveratrol is a combination of three patented ingredients combined in a synergistic formula.  They are Resveravine®, BioVin®, and VitaBlue®. A detailed description of this amazing combination is chronicled in my post “What makes Isotonix® Resveratrol Special“.

Do you have Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome?

If you’ve wondered whether an emotional behavior may be rooted more in chemistry than physiology, you may be right.  Serotonin has a powerful effect on our feelings and physical behavior. When serotonin levels are adequate we feel safe, happy, content, satiated, and have great impulse control.  Serotonin deficiency syndrome is when levels are low enough to cause or exacerbate the following:

These behaviors and emotional states are not necessarily produced by a physical dysfunction in the brain. Instead, it may be based on a biochemical condition that can be traced back to the brain’s serotonin neural circuits which are hampered due to inadequate amounts of serotonin in the nerve pathways. A serotonin precursor called l-tryptophan (or tryptophan) can restore these biochemical transmissions to the serotonin neural receptors. L-Tryptophan supplementation is a safe and natural way of increasing low serotonin levels.

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Resveratrol increases repair and protection of cells by 8 fold

Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant compound found in red wine grape skins and seeds. Resveratrol is also found in various amounts in several other types of plants and acts as a protective agent defending the plant from harmful environmental elements.

Several studies show that resveratrol also enhances human immune function and potential longevity. Well, the news on resveratrol continues to pour in with yet another significant benefit provided by this compound being touted in a new study.

A normal function that cells perform is folding proteins.  When cells misfold proteins and the immune system doesn’t catch them, the misfolded proteins set the stage for trouble.

Cells that experience stress, respond by producing “heat-shock proteins”.  These proteins were called SIRT1. These SIRT1 heat-shock proteins were given that name when it was observed that cells exposed to elevated temperatures generated these special proteins to protect and repair DNA and extend the life of the cell. Cells with SIRT1 activated are stronger, live longer and continue to perform their functions under stress.

Other types of cellular stress like calorie reduction and oxygen-deprivation also triggers SIRT1.  Resveratrol has shown a unique ability to stimulate SIRT1 production by as much as 8 fold without the presence of typical cell stress like heat, food reduction or reduced oxygen.

Resveratrol is plant compound found in grapes that has antioxidant abilities which neutralize free radicals and has demonstrated cancer preventative properties. By triggering SIRT1 production, it holds the potential for increasing life span by protecting cells and inhibiting age related disease.

Neurodegenerative diseases like Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s all present significant amounts of misfolded protein cellular damage.  When SIRT1 levels fall cells are unable to properly respond to stress and systems of the body start to fail.  This also happens during the aging process.

According to research team leader, Richard I. Morimoto, professor of Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences “When SIRT1 levels are high, you are in a high-protection mode”. Resveratrol contributes to high SIRT1 levels.

“We now have a powerful way to think about addressing neurodegenerative diseases,” said Morimoto. “We have identified a pathway that can be manipulated to alter lifespan. Discovering this new basis for therapeutics is very exciting.”

Isotonix® Resveratrol

Top 10 Health Breakthroughs of 2008

byron_richardsNutrition expert and author, Byron J. Richards nominates his top 10 health breakthroughs of 2008 in an article on NewsWithViews.com.

Here is his list along with a brief summary (click keyword links for related blog posts):

#10 – The Mayo Clinic Places One Foot in the Door of the Real World

The breakthrough here is that the Mayo Clinic actually began acknowledging the value of certain nutritional supplements such as fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids.

#9 – Bone Health Is One Key to Longevity

Good bone health is not just about avoiding osteoporosis, scientists have found that healthy bones contribute to better health in other ways as well.

#8 – Grape Seed Extracts Stop Alzheimer’s Plaque

Brain plaque is the cause of many brain aging symptoms and grape seed extract has been found to prevent its growth.

#7 – Vitamin D for Anything and Everything

New evidence was found regarding vitamin D’s power as a gene-regulating super nutrient.  It turns out that vitamin D can help with a huge array of health issues.  More interesting are Byron’s comments regarding the American Cancer Society and FDA’s reluctance to disseminate the news.

#6 – Resveratrol Turns Back the Clock

Readers of this blog know all about the remarkable research on resveratrol, the compound in red wine that activates the SIRT1 green and in turn, slows the aging process and prevents certain diseases.

#5 – The Digestive Genome Marks the New Frontier of Health

Scientists are learning more about how the contaminants and flora in our intestinal tract influence the health of our entire body in ways we didn’t previously understand.

#4 – The Changing World of Fat, Cholesterol, and Heart Disease

It is not just about reducing “bad” cholesterol and increasing “good” cholesterol anymore.  There is a whole new concept of Cholesterol health that contributes to true cardiovascular health.

#3 – How Much BDNF is In Your Bank Account?

Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) has been found to be a key to nerve and brain development.  It turns out that fish oil, blueberries, curcumin, and pantethine all help boost the production of BDNF.

#2 – Run for Your Life

New research this year proves that running is not only great exercise, but is particularly helpful for people over 50.

#1 – Thyroid Health is for Everyone

The latest research on thyroid function shows that even a slightly malfunctioning thyroid is directly related to increased mortality, fatal heart disease, elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, risk of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s risk, and many other issues.  How do you keep your thyroid healthy?  A cleaner diet, exercise, and antioxidants.

What makes Curcumin Extreme unique?

I’ve posted several articles on the health benefits of curcumin, the powerful antioxidant found in the spice turmeric.  The product that my husband and I take is Curcumin Extreme™ from SHOP.COM (powered by Market America).  So what makes Curcumin Extreme™ different from other curcumin products on the market?

BCM-95®

One of the issues with curcumin is that it is not very bioavailable, which means that your body can’t readily absorb it.  Studies have shown that we can only absorb a small amount of curcumin when ingested.  However, a special formulation called BCM-95® by DolCas Biotech has been shown in clinical studies to be over 6 times more bioavailable than regular curcumin.  BCM-95® contains the natural spectrum of the turmeric rhizome and is 100% natural.

(Additional information on BCM-95 is available at www.bcm95.com)

Broccoli Seed Extract

Curcumin Extreme™ also includes 167mg of broccoli seed extract, a powerful source of sulphoraphane glucosinolates. Sulforaphanes support the normal production of Phase II liver detoxification enzymes including glutathione synthase, heme-oxygenase and catalase. Sulforaphanes also support gene transcription, the process by which genetic information is copied from DNA to RNA. They also support the body’s natural defense systems. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the human body which serves to preserve and protect the brain and other body tissues by protecting them from the damage of free radicals. Furthermore, glutathione recycles vitamins C and E which are also powerful antioxidants.

Related research:  Immunomodulatory activity of sulforaphane, a naturally occuring isothiocyanate from broccoli (Brassica oleracea). Phytomedicine vol. 14: 538-545, 2006.

Selenium

Selenium is a required cofactor for selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidase. Selenomethionine is incorporated directly into proteins because selenomethionine cannot be distinguished from methionine during the translation of mRNA into protein. This serves as a storage form of selenium and is liberated upon protein catabolism. Selenium accumulates in the prostate, promoting the health of the prostate. Selenium supports immune function by promoting normal growth and development of T helper cells.

Related research:  Selenium, selenoproteins and human health: a review. Public Health Nutrition vol. 4: 593-599, 2001

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