Turmeric Boosts Brain Power

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN

Want to start your day right? Add turmeric to your breakfast. Turmeric is a spice that's commonly used in Indian dishes.

Not only can it perk up your meal, but it may also stimulate your brain due to an antioxidant it contains called curcumin.

A recent study found that turmeric enhanced memory in adults. The results were published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Turmeric Boosts Memory for Six Hours

People aged 60 and older were recruited for the study. They were given a bland breakfast consisting of white bread along with a placebo, 2 grams of cinnamon, 1 gram of turmeric, or a combination of the latter two. All were diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a condition which could ultimately increase the risk for dementia and memory-related problems.

Working memory (also called short-term memory) was assessed before the meal and several hours afterwards.

The researchers found the turmeric group experienced greater benefits in working memory compared to the other groups, with results lasting up to six hours.1

This isn't the first study to show a memory-boosting effect for turmeric. Previous studies also show encouraging results.

Curcumin May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Of the many bioactive compounds in turmeric, curcumin, the antioxidant responsible for its rich-yellow color, has caught the attention of scientists.

Laboratory, animal, as well as human studies show curcumin targets different factors implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.

For example, curcumin has been shown to destabilize the formation of amyloid beta plaque, an abnormal brain protein found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.2

It also chelates heavy metals, reduces oxidative stress, and lowers inflammation in the brain — all factors which could potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.3,4

Not to mention, curcumin may help the brain form new memories. It stimulates neurogenesis (the formation of new nerve cells) in an area of the brain called the hippocampus where memories are stored.5

For all of these reasons, it makes sense to incorporate turmeric into your meals, especially if you’re interested in maintaining a healthy memory. For added benefit, curcumin supplements are also available.

The Bottom Line

Consider working turmeric into your diet or taking a quality curcumin supplement. Not sure where to start? Here’s a recipe courtesy of Cooking Light. Turmeric has a subtle flavor which goes well with just about every meal. Enjoy!

Recipe: Omelet with Turmeric, Tomato, and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 green onions
  • finely chopped 1/4 cup diced plum tomato
  • dash of black pepper
Preparation:

  1. Whisk together eggs and salt.
  2. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and turmeric; cook 30 seconds or until seeds pop, stirring frequently. Add onions; cook 30 seconds or until soft, stirring frequently. Add tomato; cook 1 minute or until very soft, stirring frequently.
  3. Pour egg mixture into pan; spread evenly. Cook until edges begin to set (about 2 minutes). Slide front edge of spatula between edge of omelet and pan. Gently lift edge of omelet, tilting pan to allow some uncooked egg mixture to come in contact with pan. Repeat procedure on the opposite edge. Continue cooking until center is just set (about 2 minutes). Loosen omelet with a spatula, and fold in half. Carefully slide omelet onto a platter. Cut omelet in half, and sprinkle with black pepper.

References:

  1. Available at: http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?DocID=09647058-201303-PP201303130005-PP201303130005-1-11-0079. Accessed November 21, 2014. 
  2. J Phys Chem B. 2012 Jun 28;116(25):7428-35. 
  3. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Jan-Mar; 11(1): 13–19. 
  4. Mol Ther. 2011 Oct;19(10):1769-79. 
  5. Brain Res. 2007 Aug 8;1162:9-18.

Share | |

Marijuana Shrinks Aggressive Brain Tumors

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN


The current mortality rate for people who have gliomas, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, is 6-12 months. Conventional treatments are at best palliative and offer little hope in the area of a cure. Can marijuana help?

Researchers from St. George’s, University of London, have discovered that cannabinoids along with radiotherapy shrink brain tumors.1

The results were published in the 2014 November issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Cannabinoids and Radiation Shrink Brain Tumors

Scientists first tested the effects of cannabinoids, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) on cultured glioma cells and later administered radiation. They found that both cannabinoids killed cancer cells in a dose-dependent fashion, with higher doses showing a greater benefit.

Also, the cannabinoids were found to make the glioma cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation.1

In the second part of the experiment, mice with brain cancer were either given no treatment, cannabinoids, radiation or a combination of radiation and cannabinoids. The mice receiving the cannabinoids and radiation obtained the best results.

According to the scientists involved in the study, there was a “drastic reduction” in tumor size, with some tumors disappearing altogether.1

The London researchers want to conduct a similar study on humans.

The Cannabis Brain Cancer Cure?

Until the legal situation of marijuana is sorted out, we won’t know the true extent of its health benefits. Current legislation makes it difficult for research studies to be conducted, and in many states it is currently illegal to use medical marijuana as a treatment.

Despite all of these setbacks, the research shows a promising picture. There are many studies showing the anti-cancer properties of marijuana. So far preclinical studies show cannabis may help to target cancers of the lung, thyroid, skin, uterus, breast, prostate, and pancreas.2

Marijuana seems to be a promising anti-cancer agent due to its ability to target cancer in several ways. It targets angiogenesis, a process in which tumors gain circulation through blood vessel growth.

Marijuana also prevents metastasis (the spread of cancer cells), and it induces apoptosis, a process in which cancer cells “commit suicide”.2

Finally, marijuana has been shown to alleviate the pain, nausea, and appetite issues encountered during cancer treatments, making it a versatile therapy.2

What About You?

Have any thoughts on the use of cannabinoids as a cancer treatment? Please share them in the comments. If you're interested in reading more about potential brain cancer treatments, we suggest you give our brain cancer protocol a read.

References:

  1. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Nov 14. 
  2. Oncotarget. Aug 2014; 5(15): 5852–5872.

Share | |

The Health Benefits of Bromelain


Bromelain is an enzyme extracted from pineapples. It’s often used as a digestive aid to improve the breakdown of protein (and also as a meat tenderizer).

Pineapples have had a long history of use in traditional medicine, leading to the modern investigation of bromelain as a potential treatment for a number of conditions.

Life Extensionists Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw wrote about bromelain in the early 1980s. They suggested that bromelain’s ability to break down protein might be the reason for the beautiful skin observed among the Polynesians.

Indeed, one of bromelain's medical uses is in the treatment of burns.

Bromelain May Prevent Heart Disease

While no actual study shows that bromelain prevents heart disease in humans, the authors of a review published in 2011 observed that bromelain has a cardioprotective effect and reduces the formation of blood clots — two factors which could ultimately help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.1

In a study involving rat hearts that were subjected to ischemia (reduced blood flow), bromelain given prior to the event resulted in a better recovery compared to controls.2

Bromelain Eases Inflammation

One of the best known uses for bromelain is that of an anti-inflammatory agent. In a study of tissue removed from the colons of inflammatory bowel disease patients, bromelain was shown to reduce the production of inflammatory compounds.3

The authors concluded that bromelain inhibited inflammation.

Bromelain's anti-inflammatory benefit makes it a natural choice for the treatment of arthritis. The authors of a review published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine remarked that bromelain may be a safer treatment rather than current standard therapies.4

In a clinical trial, a preparation containing bromelain was found to reduce pain, stiffness, and improve physical function in patients suffering from arthritis of the hip.5

Bromelain May Fight Cancer

Bromelain could also have an anticancer effect. When the enzyme was investigated in a group of mice that received implanted cancer cells, all of the animals (except those that received melanoma cells) that were given bromelain survived for a longer period of time compared to those receiving a chemotherapy drug.

In another investigation involving mice, the use of bromelain delayed the onset of tumor development after the administration of a carcinogen. There was a reduction in the number of tumors developed in mice.7

How to Supplement with Bromelain 

Non enteric-coated bromelain is best taken for digestive issues. For all other uses, take enteric-coated bromelain on an empty stomach. It passes into the small intestine intact to release its contents into the bloodstream.

References:

  1. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 Jul;9(7):702-10. 
  2. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Mar;294(3):H1365-70. 
  3. Clin Immunol. 2008 Mar;126(3):345-52. 
  4. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):251-257. 
  5. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 Jan-Feb;24(1):25-30. 
  6. Planta Med. 2007 Oct;73(13):1377-83. 
  7. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Jan 1;226(1):30-7.

Share | |

5 Herbs for Hormone Balance

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN

All women (young and old) can actually experience hormonal-related symptoms.

If you’re moody prior to your period, have difficulty sleeping, experience night sweats, or occasionally suffer from painful breasts, you may be suffering from a hormone imbalance yourself. 

Below is a rundown of some powerful herbs that have been clinically shown to alleviate hormone-related ailments.

Chasteberry for Menstrual Problems

Used originally by monks to suppress their libido (although there is no evidence to support this), the use of chasteberry goes back hundreds of years.

Chasteberry normalizes the menstrual cycle by increasing progesterone levels.1 In addition, it has been shown to alleviate anxiety, prevent acne breakouts, and restore fertility.2-3

Hops for Hot Flashes

Popularly used to make beer, hops contain one of the strongest plant estrogens known. This can benefit women who are nearing menopause and have troubling symptoms as a result.

According to clinical studies, hop extracts help relieve hot flashes and they maintain bone health in menopausal women.4-5

Look for products that contain 8-prenylnaringenin or 8-PN. It’s the active ingredient shown to have a therapeutic effect.

Ginkgo Biloba for PMS

A significant amount of women suffer from PMS. Research shows ginkgo biloba may help.

In a clinical trial, women given ginkgo extract experienced improvements in fluid retention, breast tenderness, and mood.6

Red Clover for Menopause Symptoms

Red clover is a source of isoflavones, plant-based compounds that have estrogenic effects in the human body.

In research studies, red clover has been shown to alleviate sleep difficulties, cognitive problems, and hot flashes associated with menopause.7

Pine bark for cramps

Horrible menstrual cramps may rival the pain of labor. Why suffer when there are herbs that can actually help?

In a study, women experiencing painful cramps were able to take less pain medication while supplementing with French maritime pine extract. The analgesic effect persisted even after the extract was discontinued.8

French maritime pine extract has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects, which could help to explain its pain-relieving action.9

References:

  1. Planta Med. 2013 May;79(7):562-75. 
  2. Pharmacogn Rev. 2013 Jul;7(14):188-98. 
  3. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 1;72(5):821-4. 
  4. Maturitas. 2006 May 20;54(2):164-75. 
  5. Bone Miner Metab. 2010 May;28(3):342-50. 
  6. Rev Fr Gynecol Obstet. 1993 Jul;88(7-9):447–57. 
  7. Maturitas. 2014 Aug;78(4):263-76. 
  8. J Reprod Med. 2008 May;53(5):338-46. 
  9. Res Pharm Sci. 2011 Jan-Jun; 6(1): 1–11.

Share | |

5 Simple Ways to Slow Aging

By Michael A. Smith, MD

The answer to the question, “Why do we age?” is far from resolved. But researchers have developed some pretty compelling theories.

I’d like to share some of the top theories with you and then offer nutrients that can counter each aging mechanism. I'll discuss them in the order I believe to be the most important to the least important. Ready?

Slow Aging by Restoring Hormones

The older we get, the fewer hormones we produce. It’s just a fact of life. Prominent doctors have long believed that this decline in hormone levels is a major reason why the human body ages—from the cellular level on up.

What I am talking about is using bio-identical hormones—hormones identical in chemical makeup to those naturally produced by your body—to achieve more youthful levels, similar to those you had when you were in your twenties or thirties.

I believe restoring hormones to youthful levels is key to helping your brain “talk” to your body and manage the thousands of biological processes required to live a healthier, longer life.

The first thing to do is get a blood test. Make sure your doctor orders blood levels for the following hormones:

 • Pregnenolone
 • Progesterone
 • Free and Total Testosterone
 • Estradiol
 • DHEA
 • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
 • Free and Total T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones)

When your results arrive, check for deficiencies and imbalances using Life Extension’s male restoration and female restoration hormone protocols.

Slow Aging by Reducing Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is the strain on your body’s tissues when the amount of free radicals in your system outnumbers the amount of antioxidants.

It is widely believed to be a key contributor to the aging process. You might also remember that free radicals are unavoidable. While you can reduce your exposure by refusing to smoke, living in an unpolluted area, wearing sunscreen, avoiding processed foods, and filtering your water, one of the key sources of free radicals is your own metabolism.

The best approach to fighting free radicals is to make sure your body has the defenses to neutralize them: antioxidants. Your body is equipped with its own naturally occurring team of antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase.

But in our modern world, it’s not unusual for free radicals to outnumber the antioxidants in the body. This is where deep, dark colored fruits and vegetables and supplemental antioxidants come in.

My favorite sources of antioxidants are:

• Pomegranate
• Red grapes (and seeds)
• Kiwi
• Blood oranges
• Blackberries and raspberries
• Melons

Of course you’d have to eat several servings a day to get adequate amounts of antioxidants. So consider a daily antioxidant supplements as well.

Slow Aging by Easing Chronic Inflammation

Ongoing low-level systemic inflammation is now understood to be the common denominator among all chronic age-related diseases. It can cause your cells to mutate, wear away your joint cartilage and can contribute to plaque accumulate in your artery walls.

Low-grade chronic inflammation is implicated in macular degeneration and it may set the stage for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. If living healthier, longer is your goal, then easing chronic inflammation should near the top of your list of things to do.

First, limit pro-inflammatory foods, like refined sugars, processed breads and cereals, red meat and dairy. Second, increase healthy oils – omega 3s – in your diet. I suggest between 1 and 2 grams a day.

You can get omega-3s from seeds, nuts and fish. But you’d have to eat a lot of them to get just 1 gram! So supplement your diet as well with omega-3 fatty acids to reach your daily target of 1 to 2 grams.

Slow Aging by Preserving Cell Energy

If the cells in your body fail to make enough energy, they cannot function properly. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens as you age.

Cellular energy production drops and your cells and tissues break down and eventually die. Why? The answer has to do with tiny little organelles that are present inside most of your cells and are called mitochondria. As we age, the number and quality of mitochondria decrease. This hampers cell energy production.

First, protect your mitochondria by increasing antioxidants in your diet, like with my favorite sources from the list above.

Secondly, enhance the production of cell energy with ubiquinol CoQ10, a natural energy cofactor.

Lastly, generate brand new mitochondria by supplementing with Pyrroloquinoline quinone – or simply known as PQQ. It activates the genes in your DNA that produce mitochondria.

Slow Aging by Reversing Your Biological Clock

One of the best ways to see how fast your biological clock is ticking is to look at the length of your telomeres. “My what?” you may be asking. Yes, your telomeres.

You may not have heard of them, but telomeres are the bits of DNA at the ends of your chromosomes. Think of them like the plastic caps at the ends of shoelaces: they’re supposed to keep your DNA from unraveling.

Every time one of your cells divides, your telomeres shorten. At a certain point, telomeres get too short to allow the cell to divide anymore, and the cell dies.

Which factors contribute to telomere shortening? Not surprisingly, the usual suspects: oxidative stress and inflammation. Diet also plays a role.

A recent study found that a high intake of fat, such as butter, and a reduced intake of fruit in elderly men was associated with a decrease in telomere length. For women, a high intake of vegetables was protective against telomere shortening.

If you want to keep your telomeres long, I suggest limiting your butter consumption and eating more fruits and vegetables. However, there are also some supplements that have been shown to increase telomere length:

 • Resveratrol
 • Red reishi mushroom extract
 • Astragalus (an herbal extract)

Living Healthier, Longer!

In all likelihood, there is no one cause of aging. I personally believe that along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and the prudent use of dietary supplements can go a long way to counter these aging mechanisms in our bodies and help us achieve not just the absence of disease—but thriving, optimal health.

Learn how you can incorporate age managing supplements into a personalized regimen at www.MySupplementPyramid.com

Share | |
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...