Monthly Archives: November 2015

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Can a Spoonful of Cinnamon Make the Parkinson’s Go Down?

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system in which dopamine generating cells in the substantia nigra die.  This then affects the motor system with regards to movement related activities, such as, shaking, rigidity, difficulty in walking and slowness in walking.

Two proteins in the brain act to protect neurons in the substantia nigra from cell death.  The first is Protein deglycase DJ-1 (DJ-1) which protects neurons against oxidative stress and cell death   The second is Parkin which helps degrade one or more proteins toxic to dopaminergic neurons.  The loss of function of the Parkin protein leads to dopaminergic cell death, which then can lead to Parkinson’s disease. Parkin and DJ-1 are known to stimulate and support the survival of existing dopaminergic neurons. It has been identified that Parkin and Protein deglycase DJ-1 decrease in the brain of Parkinson’s patients.  1

An interesting article published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology in September 2014 entitled Cinnamon Treatment Upregulates Neuroprotective Proteins Parkin and DJ-1 and Protects Dopaminergic Neurons in a Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease explored a novel use of cinnamon in upregulating Parkin and DJ-1 and protecting dopaminergic neurons in a MPTP mouse model of Parkinson’s.

The authors from Rush University Medical Center’s Department of Neurological Sciences, Kalipada Pahan and Saurabh Khasnavis found that after oral feeding, ground cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum)) is metabolized into sodium benzoate, which then enters into the brain, which then:  2

  • Stops the loss of Parkin and Protein deglycase DJ-1
  • Protects neurons
  • Normalizes neurotransmitter levels
  • Improves motor functions in mice with Parkinson’s

The authors also found that the oral treatment of MPTP-intoxicated mice with cinnamon powder and sodium benzoate:  3

  • Reduces the nigral expression of iNOS
  • Blocks nigral loss of Parkin and DJ-1
  • Protects the nigrostriatal axis
  • Restores locomotor activities

They suggested that cinnamon may be used to protect dopaminergic neurons in the nigra of Parkinson’s patients.

The authors of the study used True Cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) rather than using Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia).  They stated that “Although both types of cinnamon are metabolized into sodium benzoate, by mass spectrometric analysis, we have seen that Ceylon cinnamon is much more pure than Chinese cinnamon as the latter contains coumarin, a hepatotoxic molecule.”  4

The use of Ceylon cinnamon could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson’s patients.”  5

Ceylon cinnamon contains a major compound named cinnamaldehyde, which is converted into cinnamic acid by oxidation. In the liver, this cinnamic acid is β-oxidized to benzoate that exists as sodium salt (NaB) or benzoyl-CoA.   6

The authors concluded their study by stating, “Now we need to translate this finding to the clinic and test ground cinnamon in patients with PD. If these results are replicated in PD patients, it would be a remarkable advance in the treatment of this devastating neurodegenerative disease.”  7


It is important to note that if one is to consume a teaspoon or less of Ceylon cinnamon or True cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) daily, it should be consumed in liquid or in food, and never in its dry form directly in the mouth as this could cause choking.  Also make sure that it is Ceylon cinnamon or True cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) that is consumed and not Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), as Chinese cinnamon can be hepatotoxic in large quantities and on a frequent basis.

A common method of consuming Ceylon cinnamon or True cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) is to mix it in a smoothie with fruit and protein powder.


Resources:

Ceylon cinnamon or True cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum)


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Turmeric Root Extract and Highly-Bioavailable Curcumin Taken Together are Synergistic

There is a vast number of published studies on Curcumin as an effective therapy for a diverse array of health conditions.  For many years the focus of this research has been exclusively on Curcumin as an extract of the plant Turmeric.  Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae and is native to southwest India.

TurmericRoots

Turmeric root and powder

Despite the fact that Curcumin is a powerful component and extract of turmeric root, there recently have been additional identified chemicals in turmeric root that provide health benefits.  In fact, there have been identified up to 235 compounds in turmeric.  1  Some of the more important compounds are listed below:

  • Curcuminoids
    • curcumin (diferuloylmethane) (constitutes 3.14% (on average) of powdered turmeric)  2
    • demethoxycurcumin  (DMC)
    • bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC)
    • tetrahydrocurcumin (THC)
  • Turmerones (volatile oils)
    • alpha-turmerone
    • beta-turmerone
    • ar-turmerone
    • aromatic-turmerone
  • Atlantone
  • Alpha-santalene
  • Aromatic-curcumene
  • Curlone
  • Zingiberene
  • Polysaccharides
    • ukonan A, B, C, and D  3
  • 1,8-cineole
  • Borneol
  • Cineol
  • Tolymethylcarbinol
  • Phellandrene
  • Sabinene
  • α-phellandrene and β-sesquiphellandrene
  • α and β-pinene
  • α-terpineol, γ-terpinene, and terpineol
  • Farnesol, α-farnesene, and β-farnesene
  • Geraniol and geranylgeranoic acid
  • Germacrane/germacrone compounds (including curdione)
  • ρ-Coumaric acid
  • ρ-Cymene
  • Turmerin
  • Xanthorrhizol

Use of Turmeric Root Extract and Curcumin

In the past few years, more research has started to look at a group of molecules known as turmerones, and has uncovered a number of  impressive benefits not seen when research looked exclusively at curcumin.

Curcumin has to be extracted from the turmeric root and when extracted there remains turmeric oil which is rich in turmerones.  4  5

The essential oil from Curcuma longa L. was analyzed by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. The major components of the oil were:  6

  • ar-turmerone (33.2%)
  • α-turmerone (23.5%)
  • β-turmerone (22.7%)

In another study, the ar-turmerone amount in turmeric essential oils was found to be as high as 62%. Thus, in some samples of whole turmeric, the amount of turmerone approaches that of curcumin.  7

A study from March 2012 demonstrated that the presence of turmerones did affect the absorption of curcumin in vitro. These findings suggest the potential use of turmeric extract (including curcumin and turmerones), rather than curcumin alone, for treating diseases.  Thus, combining a highly-bioavailable form of Curcumin with these turmerones (turmeric root extract) not only supports curcumin absorption, but significantly increases cellular curcumin concentrations.  8

Since there currently are no supplements that contain turmerones,  it is best to consume whole turmeric root extract (powder) available in capsule form.

Haldi Ka Doodh:  An alternative to supplemental turmeric root extract

Haldi Ka Doodh, which translates to “Turmeric (Haldi) Milk (Doodh) has been used for centuries in India as a means to consume turmeric root powder.  It is also sometimes known as “Golden Milk”.

HaldiDoodh

Haldi Ka Doodh

In India, people would make this Golden Milk when they had a cold or the flu or even when they had a sore throat.  They obtained relief from the warm milk and the medicinal properties of the turmeric root.  

The recipe is quite simple.  The following version of the recipe has been enhanced by adding ground pepper for greater bioavailability of the turmeric root powder and honey to counter the bitter taste of the turmeric root powder.

Directions to make Haldi Ka Doodh:

Step 1: Turmeric Paste:

  1/4 cup of organic turmeric powder
   1/2 teaspoon of organic ground pepper (The addition of black pepper to turmeric powder increases the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.) 9
   1/2 cup of filtered water

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a small a small sauce pan and mix well. Turn the heat to medium high and stir constantly until the mixture is a thick paste. This does not take long so don’t walk away from the pan.

Step 2: Golden Milk

Ingredients:

   1 cup of organic whole (not non-fat) milk (almond/hemp/coconut are also good options)
   1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
   1/4 teaspoon or more of turmeric paste
   Organic honey

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients, except honey in a saucepan. Turn the heat to medium. While heating make sure to stir constantly and do not allow the mixture to boil. Add honey to taste.  Make sure that the milk used is full fat milk and not non-fat or low-fat milk.  Turmeric is fat soluble and needs the fat for greater bioavailability.  This is why coconut oil is used, to enhance bioavailability.

Turmerones Possess Many Promising Health Benefits

There has been a considerable amount of research on the group of molecules known as turmerones, which are the active volatile oils from turmeric root extract.  The research and published studies have discovered a number of impressive benefits from turmerones. 

The Table below lists a majority of these published studies on turmerones:

Health Benefits of Turmerones from Turmeric Root

Turmerones  
ConditionHealth Effect (Abstract)References
Increases proliferation of neural stem cells
Rats injected with ar-turmerone showed both increased proliferation of NSC's (more total neural stem cells) and increased neurogenesis (more NSC's turning into neurons). Additionally, NSC's in the rats were found to mobilize to other areas of the brain at a greater rate in the presence of ar-turmerone, allowing for stem cells to move from the subventicular zone (where the greatest concentrations of NSC's are found) to other areas of the brain.1
Turmeric encourages brain repair
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.2
Anti-inflammatory in the brain
Ar-turmerone inhibited the phosphorylation and degradation of IκB-α as well as the phosphorylation of JNK and p38 MAPK. These results suggest that ar-turmerone impaired the Aβ-induced inflammatory response of microglial cells by inhibiting the NF-κB, JNK, and p38 MAPK signaling pathways. Lastly, ar-turmerone protected hippocampal HT-22 cells from indirect neuronal toxicity induced by activated microglial cells. These novel findings provide new insights into the development of ar-turmerone as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders 3
Reduces Beta-Amyloid and Phosphoylated Tau Protein
Optimized Turmeric Extract Reduces β-Amyloid and Phosphorylated Tau Protein Burden in Alzheimer’s Transgenic Mice. The findings reveal that the optimized turmeric extract HSS-888 represents an important step in botanical based therapies for Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting or improving plaque Inhibition of beta-amyloid (A beta) accumulation and A beta fibril (fA beta) formation from A beta are attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). While previous studies have shown anti-amyloidogenic effects of curcumin in vitro and in vivo, no studies have examined optimized turmeric extracts enriched in curcuminoids or turmerones. burden, Tau phosphorylation, and microglial inflammation leading to neuronal toxicity4
Inhibits beta-amyloid accumulation and A beta fibril formation
Inhibition of beta-amyloid (A beta) accumulation and A beta fibril (fA beta) formation from A beta are attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). While previous studies have shown anti-amyloidogenic effects of curcumin in vitro and in vivo, no studies have examined optimized turmeric extracts enriched in curcuminoids or turmerones. However, HSS-888 showed strong inhibition of A beta aggregation and secretion, thus indicating that there are novel bioactive molecules in this extract that might be important leads for future AD drug discovery efforts. 5
Neuroprotective
The potential role of curcumin as a preventive agent against brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders has been recently reinforced by epidemiological studies showing that in India, where this spice is widely used in the daily diet, there is a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease than in the USA. These studies identify a novel class of compounds that could be used for therapeutic purposes as preventive agents against the acute neurodegenerative conditions that affect many in the world's increasingly ageing population.6
Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities as antioxidant
Oral administration of turmeric oil for one month to mice significantly increased superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and glutathione reductase enzyme levels in blood and glutathione-S-transferase and superoxide dismutase enzymes in liver. Turmeric oil showed significant reduction in paw thickness in carrageenan, dextran-induced acute inflammation, and formalin-induced chronic inflammation. The drug produced significant antinociceptive activity (P < 0.001) at all doses studied. Conclusions : These results demonstrated that turmeric oil has potential health benefits as it can scavenge the free radicals and produce significant anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities. 7
Chemopreventive agent
Both α-turmerone and aromatic-turmerone showed stimulatory effects on PBMC proliferation and cytokine production. The anti-proliferative effect of α-turmerone and immunomodulatory activities of ar-turmerone was shown for the first time. The findings revealed the potential use of CL crude extract (containing curcuminoids and volatile oil including turmerones) as chemopreventive agent. 8
Chemopreventive agent
The modulating effects of turmeric (T), ethanolic turmeric extract (ETE) and curcumin-free aqueous turmeric extract (CFATE) on the initiation or post-initiation phases of DMBA-induced mammary tumorigenesis were investigated in female Sprague–Dawley rats. The present data clearly indicate that dietary administration of T/ETE showed strong chemopreventive activity during initiation as well as post-initiation phases of DMBA-induced rat mammary tumorigenesis while CFATE was found to be weakly active only when it was administered during the post-initiation phase. 9
Inhibits chemical carcinogenesis
Turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn.) has been shown to inhibit chemical carcinogenesis. In this study, we compared the chemopreventive efficacy of an aqueous turmeric extract (AqTE) and its constituents, curcumin-free aqueous turmeric extract (CFAqTE) and curcumin, using theSalmonella typhimurium mutagenicity assay and the bone marrow micronucleus test in female Swiss mice. These data indicate that the protection against genomic damage by turmeric extract and its components tested could be necessary for some aspects of its cancer chemoprevention. 10
Colon cancer preventative
We recently reported that ar-turmerone (ATM) suppressed nitric oxide (NO) generation in macrophages. In the present study, we explored the molecular mechanisms by which ATM attenuates NO generation and examined the anti-carcinogenesis activity of turmerones (TUR, a mixture of 5 sesquiterpenes including ATM). Collectively, our results led to our hypothesis that TUR is a novel candidate for colon cancer prevention. Furthermore, we consider that its use in combination with CUR may become a powerful method for prevention of inflammation-associated colon carcinogenesis. 11
Anti-tumorigenesis activity through apoptosis
Aromatic (ar)-turmerone from turmeric oil displays anti-tumorigenesis activity that includes inhibited cell proliferation. This study investigated ar-turmerone-mediated apoptotic protein activation in human lymphoma U937 cells. These results suggest that the apoptotic effect of ar-turmerone on U937 cells may involve caspase-3 activation through the induction of Bax and p53, rather than Bcl-2 and p21.12
Inhibited breast cancer formation
In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of ar-turmerone on expression and enzymatic activity levels of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and cyclooxygenaase-2 (COX-2) in breast cancer cells. Our data indicated that ar-turmerone treatment significantly inhibited enzymatic activity and expression of MMP-9 and COX-2 at non-cytotoxic concentrations. These results suggest that ar-turmerone suppressed the TPA-induced up-regulation of MMP-9 and COX-2 expression by blocking NF-κB, PI3K/Akt, and ERK1/2 signaling in human breast cancer cells. Furthermore, ar-turmerone significantly inhibited TPA-induced invasion, migration, and colony formation in human breast cancer cells.13
Anti-neuroinflammatory properties
Here, we investigated the anti-neuroinflammatory properties of ar-turmerone in LPS-stimulated BV-2 microglial cells. Increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, PGE(2), NO and ROS production and MMP-9 enzymatic activity in LPS-stimulated microglial cells was inhibited by ar-turmerone. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that HO-1 and its upstream effectors PKA play a pivotal role in the anti-neuroinflammatory response of ar-turmerone in LPS-stimulated microglia.14
Anti-bacterial
The major components of ginger, turmeric, galangal, bastard cardamom and kaempferia were zingiberene, turmerone, methyl chavicol, and gamma-terpinene, respectively. Their antibacterial effects towards Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Listeria monocytogenes were tested by a disc diffusion assay.15
Leukemia
We have investigated the effects of ar-turmerone isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa L) on DNA of human leukemia cell lines, Molt 4B, HL-60 and stomach cancer KATO III cells. It was found that selective induction of apoptosis by ar-turmerone was observed in human leukemia Molt 4B and HL-60 cells, but not in human stomach cancer KATO III cells. The data of the present study show that the suppression by ar-turmerone of growth of these leukemia cell lines results from the induction of apoptosis by this compound.16
Antimutagenic
Turmeric oil and its fractions were tested for antioxidant activity using the beta-carotene-linoleate model system and the phosphomolybdenum method. The fraction III showed maximum antioxidant capacity. These fractions were also used to determine their protective effect against the mutagenicity of sodium azide by means of the Ames test. All the fractions and turmeric oil exhibited a markedly antimutagenicity but fraction III was the most effective. The antioxidant effects of turmeric oil and its fractions may provide an explanation for their antimutagenic action.17
Antioxidant
Turmeric oil and its fractions were tested for antioxidant activity using the beta-carotene-linoleate model system and the phosphomolybdenum method. The fraction III showed maximum antioxidant capacity. These fractions were also used to determine their protective effect against the mutagenicity of sodium azide by means of the Ames test. All the fractions and turmeric oil exhibited a markedly antimutagenicity but fraction III was the most effective. The antioxidant effects of turmeric oil and its fractions may provide an explanation for their antimutagenic action.18


Resources:

Life Extension – Advanced Bio-Curcumin with Ginger & Turmerones

Swanson Health Products – Full Spectrum Turmeric & Black Pepper

Herb Pharm Turmeric 60 softgels

Gaia Herbs, Turmeric Supreme, Extra Strength, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps


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L-alanyl-l-glutamine: Sustamine®

Sustamine is a revolutionary dipeptide that combines pure L-Glutamine and L-Alanine to create an ingredient that is more effective than Glutamine alone for rehydration and recovery.*

Sustamine enhances electrolyte and water absorption in the intestines.* It also stimulates glycogen synthesis, inhibits muscle protein breakdown and promotes the synthesis of muscle protein.* Sustamine has also been shown to help protect the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract, contributing to better nutrition absorption.*

A dipeptide is a bonded chain of two amino acids, in this case. L-Glutamine and L-Alanine.  Much smaller than a complete protein, a dipeptide can be transported directly into intestinal cells.  The muscles get nutrients faster because dipeptides are more efficiently absorbed.

Research shows that a combination of L-Alanine with L-Glutamine is more effective than Glutamine alone for increasing electrolyte and water absorption lost during exercise. L-Glutamine is also the most important amino acid for stimulating muscle protein synthesis, while L-Alanine is an amino acid needed for rebuilding glycogen stores in the body.  1

Sustamine-infographic-consumer-web-format@2x

Sustamine Infographic (Source: www.sustamine.com)

There have been a number of scientific studies on Sustamine®:

Examination of the efficacy of acute Sustamine® L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine during Hydration Stress in Endurance Exercise

Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Kang J, et al. Examination of the efficacy of acute L-alanyl-L-glutamine ingestion during hydration stress in endurance exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010;7:8. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-8.

Sustamine® Maintains Performance Levels For Collegiate Basketball Players, Study Shows

Hoffman JR, Williams DR, Emerson NS, et al. L-alanyl-L-glutamine ingestion maintains performance during a competitive basketball game. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012;9:4. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-4.

Sustamine® absorbs from gut to blood better than glutamine alone

Harris RC, Hoffman JR, Allsopp A, Routledge NB. L-glutamine absorption is enhanced after ingestion of L-alanylglutamine compared with the free amino acid or wheat protein. Nutr Res. 2012 Apr;32(4):272-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Apr 9.

Sustamine® taken post exercise might reduce muscle protein breakdown after resistance exercise

Wang W, Choi RH, Solares GJ, Tseng HM, Ding Z, Kim K, Ivy JL. L-Alanylglutamine inhibits signaling proteins that activate protein degradation, but does not affect proteins thatactivate protein synthesis after an acute resistance exercise. Amino Acids. 2015 Jul;47(7):1389-98. doi: 10.1007/s00726-015-1972-7. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

Sustamine® L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine during endurance exercise appears to enhance athletes’ reaction times when compared to no hydration

Pruna GJ, Hoffman JR, McCormack WP, et al. Effect of acute L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine and electrolyte ingestion on cognitive function and reaction time following endurance exercise. Eur J Sport Sci 2014 Oct 16:1-8.

Study Shows Taking Sustamine® L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine During Strenuous Exercise May Ward Off Exhaustion

McCormack WP, Hoffman JR, Pruna GJ, Jajtner AR, Townsend JR, Stout JR, Fragala MS, Fukuda DH. Effects of l-Alanyl-l-Glutamine Ingestion on One-Hour Run Performance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Jun 22:1-9.


Informational References:

Sustamine®

Sustamine® Brochure

Performance Matters: Benefits of Sustamine L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine – Video

Danielle Citrolo, PharmD, on the benefits of Sustamine – Video


Resources:

Swanson Health Products – Sustamine®


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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Kokum (Garcinia indica): A Potent Functional Spice

Garcinia indica, a plant in the mangosteen family (Clusiaceae), is commonly known as Kokum

Kokum2

The outer cover of fruit is dried in the sun to get aamsul or kokam. It is also known as bhirand in Konkani and punarpuli in Kannada. It is used as a staple souring agent typically in Goan cuisine and some parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Kokum yields a peculiar flavour and blackish red colour.

The rind of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid.  Other active compounds found in Kokum are listed in the Table below:

Active Chemical Compounds of Kokum

Kokum  
CategorySub-CategoryReference
hydroxycitric acid (HCA) isomers
(-)-Hydroxycitric acid
(+)-Hydroxycitric acid
(-)-Allo-HCA
(+)-Allo-HCA
Guttiferone I-K
guttiferone M (1) A
guttiferone N (2)
polyisoprenylated benzophenones Garcinol
Isogarcinol
Xanthochymol
Isoxamthochymol
Camboginan isomer of isoxanthochymol
Camboginol
Isoxanthochymol

A recent study from December 2012 indicates the hepatoprotective effects of Kokum.  This may be due to an augmentation of the endogenous antioxidants and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in the liver.  1   

The authors of the study concluded their study by stating that:

“the hepatoprotective effect of GIE (Garcinia indica)against ETOH-induced hepatotoxicity in rats appears to be related to the inhibition of lipid peroxidative processes and to the prevention of GSH depletion. The present study highlighted the health benefits of kokum, establishing it as a potent “functional food” and promoting its use as a culinary spice to enrich people’s diets. Moreover, it is cheap, readily available to all strata of society, with medicinal properties attributed to it.”  2

The additional health benefits of Kokum are listed in the Table below:

Health Benefits of Kokum

Kokum  
CategoryBenefitReferences
Antioxidant
A constituent from G. indica, Garcinol, a polyisoprenylated benzophenone has been reported to be an antioxidant  1
Anxiety
Garcinol, a naturally-occurring histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitor derived from the rind of the fruit of the Kokum tree (Garcina indica), to disrupt the consolidation and reconsolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning 2
Glycation
Garcinia indica is a potent glycation inhibitor 3
Neurogenesis
Garcinol could promote neurite outgrowth in EGF-responsive neural precursor cells and modulate the ERK pathway in the enhancement of neuronal survival. 4
Parkinson’s
Garcia indica acted as an effective neuroprotective agent for striatal dopaminergic neurons in 6-OHDA lesioned rat model of PD. 5


Resources:

Himalaya – Vrikshamla (Garcinia/Garcinia indica)

Deep Black Kokum (Dry)


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Water and the Human Body Series: Chapter 2 – The Function of Water in the Human Body

Review Chapter 1 – Water Content in the Human Body


The function of water in the body is extremely important.  In fact, water in the human body is the giver of life.  Without water, life would cease to exist.

Water helps nearly every part of the human body function efficiently. If water is 60% of the human body mass, it is vital to understand the functions of water in the human body and how a deficiency of water may cause a compromise to human health.

Following is a list of some of the more important functions of water in the human body:

Water provides cellular communication

Thoughts, emotions, nervous system transmission thought to be transmitted by water. Making water the primary mode of cellular communication.

Water is required for brain function

The brain receives 15-20% of the blood supply which is mostly comprised of water.  The cerebrospinal fluid  is critical for proper brain function.

Water is needed for bone function

Bones require plentiful supplies of water. The upper body is is supported by the water core contained within the fifth lumbar disc and muscle fibers around the spine.

Water is needed for nerve function

Microtubules, which are microstreams of water, carry water to the synapses to transmit messages.

Water is a nutrient carrier to cells

Water is a carrier, distributing essential nutrients to cells, such as minerals, vitamins and glucose.

Water is a required in chemical and metabolic reactions

Chemical reactions within the body and metabolism is critically dependent on water and a lack of water in the human body means incomplete or faulty metabolic processes.

Water is required for proper detoxification

Water removes waste products including toxins that the organs’ cells reject, and removes them through urines and feces.

Water regulates body temperature

Water has a large heat capacity which helps limit changes in body temperature in a warm or a cold environment. 

Water protects tissues, spinal cord, and joints

Water keeps the tissues in the body moist and helps protect the spinal cord  It also acts as a lubricant and cushion for joints. It also acts as a shock absorber for eyes, brain, spinal cord and even for the fetus through amniotic fluid.

Water aids in digestion

Water is the main solvent for all foods, vitamins and minerals. It is used in the breakdown of food into smaller particles and their eventual metabolism and assimilation.

Digestion starts with saliva, which primarily consists of water. 

Water acts as a solvent 

Water is the fundamental solvent for all biochemical processes in our bodies.  Because water is highly polar (has an unequal distribution of charge), it is an excellent solvent for other charged and polar molecules. 

Water acts as a transporter

Once a substance is dissolved in water, water becomes very important for transporting it throughout the body.  Blood, which is 83 percent water, transports oxygen, CO2, nutrients, waste products, and more from cell to cell.  Urine removes waste products from the body.  

Water regulates pH balance

Adequate levels of water in the human body help regulate pH balance and maintains a specific pH level of around 7.4.  

Water regulates electrolyte balance

Electrolytes are important charged ions that must be kept at certain levels in order to maintain the proper amount of water in the cells. To maintain electrolytes at the proper level in our cells, water flows in and out of the cell to make sure that these ions remain in balance.  Electrolytes transmit all sorts of information to our brains in the form of nerve impulses and are important in muscular activity as well.

Additional Functions of water in the Human body:

Water is required for breathing

Water moistens oxygen for breathing

Water dilutes the blood and prevents it from clotting during circulation

Water moistens mucous membranes such as those of the lungs and mouth

Water reduces the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria

Water moisturizes the skin to maintain its texture and appearance

Water increases the efficiency of red blood cells in collecting oxygen in the lungs

Water helps reverse addictive urges, including those for caffeine, alcohol and some drugs

Water is used in the spinal discs to make them “shock absorbing water cushions”

Water prevents clogging of arteries in the heart and the brain

Water gives us power and electrical energy for all brain functions, most particularly thinking

Water prevents DNA damage and makes its repair mechanisms more efficient 

Water increases greatly the efficiency of the immune system in the bone marrow, where the immune system is formed

Water keeps the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels

Water is directly needed for the efficient manufacture of all neurotransmitters, including serotonin

Water is directly needed for the production of all hormones made by the brain, including melatonin

Water restores normal sleep rhythms

Water prevents the loss of memory as we age. It helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease

WaterFunction


Previously published Chapters in the Series

Chapter 1 – Water Content in the Human Body

Future Chapters in the Series:

Chapter 3 – Water Gain (Consumption) in the Human Body

Chapter 4 – Water Loss by the Human Body

Chapter 5 – Water Balance in the Human Body

Chapter 6 – Dehydration

Chapter 7 – Waters Effect on Neurological Health

Chapter 8 – Edema – Fluid Retention


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Water and the Human Body Series: Chapter 1 – Water Content in the Human Body

Water is the largest single component of the human body, accounting for about 50–60% of total body mass. For a healthy lean young male with a body mass of 70 kg (154lbs), total body water will consist of about 42 liters. A healthy lean young woman is about 50% of total body mass. This is due to a women typically having less skeletal muscle and more body fat than males.

Water makes up between 45 and 75% of body weight, with the variability due primarily to differences in body fat. While most tissues including muscle, skin, and visceral organs are over 75% water, adipose tissue contains less than 10% water.

Water is also contained inside organs, in gastrointestinal, cerebrospinal, peritoneal, and ocular fluids.

The gender differences, from the teenager years onwards, are due to their differing fat levels, as is the drop in the elderly who replace muscle mass with fat. There is little difference with gender or age from childhood onwards, if allowance is made for this fat content.

The estimation of body water will vary with factors such as

  • Type of population
  • Number of people sampled
  • Age of people sampled
  • Body fat percentage

Variation due to Age

Neonates contain more water than adults: 75-80% water with proportionately more extracellular fluid (ECF) then adults. At birth, the amount of interstitial fluid is proportionally three times larger than in an adult. By the age of 12 months, this has decreased to 60% which is the adult value.

Total body water as a percentage of total body weight decreases progressively with increasing age. By the age of 60 years, total body water (TBW) has decreased to only 50% of total body weight in males mostly due to an increase in adipose tissue.

For both men and women, the percent of body weight that is water decreases with age:

  • Fetus – 90% of total weight
  • Infant – 74% of total weight
  • Child – 60% of total weight
    • Teenager
      • Male 59% of total weight
      • Female 56% of total weight
  • Adult
    • Male 59% of total weight
    • Female 50% of total weight
  • Adult over 50 years
    • Male 56% of total weight
    • Female 47% of total weight

WaterChangewithAge

Variation by Body Fat Percentage

Adipose (fat) tissue is the least hydrated tissue in the body (20% hydrated), even bone contains more water than fat. In contrast, skeletal muscle contains 75% water. So, the more muscles one has, the higher the total body water percentage will be.

The so-called lean body mass, which means a body stripped of fat, contains 0.69 parts of water (69%) of the total body weight in all persons. – Such high values are observed in the newborn and in extremely fit athletes with minimal body fat. Babies have a tenfold higher water turnover per kg of body weight than adults do.

As an average females have a low body water percentage compared to males. Such differences show sex dependency, but the important factor is the relative content of body fat, since fat tissue contains significantly less water (only 10%) than muscle and other tissues (70%). This is why the relative water content depends upon the relative fat content.

The percentage of body weight that is water therefore varies inversely with body fat. In the average lean adult male around 60% of the body weight is water. The remaining body weight consists of 16-18% fat with 22-24% protein, carbohydrate and other solids. In the female the percentage of body weight that is water is lower due to a relatively greater amount of subcutaneous fat.

Variation between Tissues

Most tissues are water-rich and contain 70-80% water. The three major exceptions to this are:

  • Plasma: 93% water (and 7% ‘plasma solids’)
  • Fat: 10-15% water
  • Bone: 20% water

Fluid Compartments of the Human Body

Fluid compartments in the human body broadly comprise two compartments, each with several subdivisions:

  • The Intracellular Fluid (ICF)
  • The Extracellular Fluid (ECF)

WaterBodyCompartments

The Intracellular Fluid (ICF)

The intracellular fluid (ICF) is about 40 % of body weight and is contained within the various cells of the body. Intracellular fluid (ICF) makes up approximately 60-65% of total body water.

The ICF is the fluid that is confined within the cell membranes. Intracellular fluid is found inside the two-layered plasma membrane of the body’s cells, and is the matrix in which cellular organelles are suspended, and chemical reactions take place. In humans, the intracellular compartment contains on average about 28 liters of fluid.

The Extracellular Fluid (ECF)

The extracellular fluid (ECF) makes up 35-40% of total body water.

Extracellular fluid (ECF) or extracellular fluid volume (ECFV) usually denotes all body fluid outside of the cells. The volume of extracellular fluid is typically 15 liters where 12 liters is interstitial fluid and 3 liters is plasma).

The ECF is divided into several smaller compartments:

  • Plasma
  • Interstitial fluid
  • Fluid of bone and dense connective tissue and
  • Transcellular fluid

These compartments are distinguished by different locations and different kinetic characteristics. The composition of ECF is high in sodium and chloride and low in potassium and magnesium.

Plasma is the only major fluid compartment that exists as a real fluid collection all in one location. It differs from ISF in its much higher protein content and its high bulk flow (transport function). Blood contains suspended red and white cells so plasma has been called the ‘interstitial fluid of the blood’.

Interstitial fluid (ISF) consists of all the bits of fluid which lie in the interstices of all body tissues. This is also a ‘virtual’ fluid meaning that it exists in many separate small bits but is spoken about as though it was a pool of fluid of uniform composition in the one location.

The ISF bathes all the cells in the body and is the link between the ICF and the intravascular compartment. Oxygen, nutrients, wastes and chemical messengers all pass through the ISF.

Lymph is considered as a part of the ISF. The lymphatic system returns protein and excess ISF to the circulation.

The fluid of bone and dense connective tissue is significant because it contains about 15% of the total body water. This fluid is mobilized only very slowly and this lessens its importance when considering the effects of acute fluid interventions.

Trans-cellular fluid is a small compartment that represents all those body fluids which are formed from the transport activities of cells. It is contained within epithelial lined spaces.

It includes cerebral-spinal fluid (CSF), gastrointestinal tract fluid (GIT), bladder urine, aqueous humour and joint fluid. It is important because of the specialized functions involved. The fluid fluxes involved with GIT fluids can be quite significant.

WaterBodyPercentages

Typical values for the size of the fluid compartments are listed in the table below.

Body Fluid Compartments (70 kg male)

Body Fluid Compartments

% of Body
Weight

% of Total
Body Water

Volume
(Liters)

ECF

27

45

19

Plasma

4.5

7.5

3.2

ISF

12.0

20.0

8.4

Dense CT water

4.5

7.5

3.2

Bone water

4.5

7.5

3.2

Trans-cellular

1.5

2.5

1.0

ICF

33

55

23

TBW

60%

100%

42 liters


Future Chapters in the Series:

Chapter 2 – The Function of Water in the Human Body

Chapter 3 – Water Gain (Consumption) in the Human Body

Chapter 4 – Water Loss by the Human Body

Chapter 5 – Water Balance in the Human Body

Chapter 6 – Dehydration

Chapter 7 – Waters Effect on Neurological Health

Chapter 8 – Edema – Fluid Retention


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Sage: A Magnificent Spice from the Mediterranean

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, or common sage) is a perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the family Lamiaceae and is native to the Mediterranean region.

Salvia officinalis contains a number of important compounds:

  • 1,8-cineol
  • Apigenin
  • α-pinene
  • borneol
  • borneol
  • bornyl esters
  • caffeic acid
  • camphor
  • carnosic acid
  • carnosol
  • chlorogenic acid
  • cineole
  • estrogenic
  • flavones
  • flavonoid glycosides
  • fumaric acid
  • niacin
  • nicotinamide
  • oleic acid
  • salvene
  • tannic acid
  • thujone
  • thujone
  • ursolic acid

The Table below is a list of the referenced and recognized studies on the health benefits of Salvia officinalis:

Health Benefits of Common Sage (Salvia officinalis)

SystemCategoryBenefitReference
Detoxification
Bisphenol A
Sage may facilitate the removal of Bisphenol A from the body.A
Immunity
Colon cancer
May assist in the prevention of colon cancerB
Lung cancer
May assist in the prevention of lung cancerC
Metabolism
Glycation
Inhibits advanced glycation end productsD
Neurological
Alertness
May increase AlertnessE
Attention
An extract of Salvia (sage) with anticholinesterase properties improves memory and attentionF
Memory
May improve Memory. After treatment with sage, participants showed significant memory enhancement at all assessment times throughout the testing days, most especially on the 333 mg testing day.G H
Anxiety
May reduce Anxiety.I
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
Prevents acetylcholinesterase from breaking down acetylcholine.J
Alzheimer’s
May offer a novel natural treatment for Alzheimer’s diseaseK
Mood
Has long been associated with a calming and spirit-lifting effectL
Neurogenesis
The apigenin content in Sage may stimulate adult neurogenesis—the generation of neuronal cells in the adult brain—by promoting a process called neuronal differentiation.M
Alzheimer’s
Rosmarinic acid protected PC12 cells from Abeta-induced neurotoxicityN

Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulifolia)

Salia lavandulifolia (Spanish sage) is a small woody herbaceous perennial native to Spain and southern France, growing in rocky soil in Maquis shrubland.

It is also known as Lavender-leaved Sage and traditionally has been used as a ‘cure all’ in Spain, where it is believed to promote longevity and protect against infection.

Salvia lavandulifolia  contains a number of important compounds:

  • camphor (16–31 %)
  • camphene (5–11%)
    • monoterpenes
    • 1,8–cineole (13–19%)
    • α-pinene
    • β-pinene (8–13 %)
    • caryophyllene oxide
  • viridiflorol (0–12 %)

The Table below is a list of the referenced and recognized studies on the health benefits of Salvia lavandulifolia:

Health Benefits of Spanish Sage (Salia lavandulifolia)

SystemCategoryBenefitReference(s)
Metabolism
Antioxidant
Salvia lavandulifolia is a potent antioxidant capacity by ROS scavenging, enhancing the endogenous antioxidant system and inhibiting lipid peroxidationA
Neurological
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
S. lavandulifolia has been found to have a selective acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting effectB
Memory
Administration of S. lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) has been reported to be effective in improving the speed of memory and mood.C D
Alzheimer’s
Spanish sage (S. lavandulaefolia) is effective in the management of mild to moderate ADE


Resources:

Herb Pharma – Sage


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Aged Black Garlic: Contains higher levels of S-allyl-cysteine (SAC) than raw garlic

Aged Black Garlic was first developed in Korea.  Aged black garlic is produced by “fermenting” through the aging of whole bulbs of fresh garlic in a humidity-controlled environment (high humidity (90% RH)) in temperatures of about 140 to 170 degrees F for 30 to 60 days.  Even though aged black garlic is considered fermented, it does not in fact involve microbial action, as no fungus or yeast is involved in the aging process. 

aging-process-of-black-garlic-from-fresh-garlic

Instead, aged black garlic fermentation is accomplished naturally by enzymatic reaction, which gives it higher concentrations of antioxidants and reduces the odor associated with raw garlic.  This process creates garlic that is black in color, softer in texture and has a more mild taste with a sweet, umami flavor.

Raw garlic v. Black garlic extract

  Raw garlic Black garlic extract
Moisture 70% 4%
Polyphenols 0.15% 3.2%
S-allyl-cystine(mg/kg) 0.322 5.84
Calcium 5 36.66
Phospohorus(mg) 40 80
Protein 3.3 12.3

(Source:  http://herbnutritionals.com/herbal-extracts/fermented-black-garlic-extract)

During the aging process, unstable compounds of fresh garlic including alliin are converted into stable compounds including the water-soluble compound s-allyl cysteine (SAC). Since s-allyl-cysteine is water soluble, it is absorbed more quickly and easily by the body.  S-allyl-cysteine also assists in absorption of the fat soluble allicin. Aged black garlic contains 5.84mg of SAC as opposed to raw garlic 0.32mg content. This compound is more stable than allicin.

The active components in found in aged black garlic consists of the following:

  • Water Soluble Organosulfur Compounds
    • S-Allyl-Cysteine (SAC)
    • S-Allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC)
  • Lipid Soluble Organosulfur Compounds
    • Diallyl sulfide
    • Triallyl sulfide
    • Diallyl disulfide
    • Diallyl polysulfide
  • Antioxidants
    • Lipid and water soluble Organosulfur compounds
    • N-fructosyl glutamate
    • N-fructosyl arginine
    • Nα (1-deoxy-D-fructos-1-yl)-L-arginine
    • Polyphenols (allixin)
    • Selenium
    • Tetrahydro-beta-carbolines

The Table below lists the researched and recognized studies on the health benefits of aged black garlic:

Health Benefits of Aged Black Garlic

SystemConditionBenefitReferences
Immunity
Anti-Inflammatory1
Chemopreventive2
Metabolism
Antioxidant3 4
Diabetes5
Inhibition of hepatic cholesterol synthesis6 7
Hepatoprotective8


Informational References:

RFI Ingredients – FermaPro® Black Garlic  A Complete Antioxidant for Cardiovascular and Immune Health


Resources:

Swanson Health Products – 100% Natural Japanese Aged Black Garlic

Great American Spice Co. – Black Garlic Cloves

Black Garlic North America

Dr. Mercola Premium Products – Fermented Black Garlic

Health Aid America – Black Garlic


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Paeonia lactiflora: Anti-Inflammatory Flower

Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (also named Chinese Peony) is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Paeoniaceae with fleshy roots and annual stems. It is about 60–100 cm tall with large compound leaves 20–40 cm long. The flower buds are large and round, opening into large flowers 8–16 cm diameter, with 5–10 white, pink, or crimson petals and yellow stamens.

Paeonia lactiflora, also Chinese Peony (Figure 1) is about 60–10

Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (A) overground part of the plant; (B) root; (C) scheme of an intact plant.

Paeonia lactiflora contains a number of different compounds:

  • oleanolic
  • ursolic acid
  • phenolic compounds
    • cis-epsilon-viniferin
    • trans-resveratrol
    • trans-resveratrol-4′-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside
    • trans-epsilon-viniferin
    • gnetin H
    • suffruticosol A, B
    • paeoniflorin

Paeonia lactiflora Pall. has been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, hepatitis, dysmenorrhea, muscle cramping and spasms, and fever for more than 1200 years.

An article published in Frontiers of Pharmacology in February 2011 investigated the anti-Inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of Paeonia Lactiflora Pall.   The authors found that the following results:

“The direct anti-inflammatory effects of total glucosides of peony (TGP) were observed in animal models of both acute and subacute inflammation, by inhibiting the production of:

  • prostaglandin E2
  • leukotriene B4
  • nitric oxide, and
  • by suppressing the increase of intracellular calcium ion concentration.

Total glucosides of peony (TGP) was also reported to have protective effects of cells against oxidative stress. In vitro, dual effects of TGP were noted on the proliferation of lymphocytes, differentiation of Th/Ts lymphocytes, and the production of proinflammatory cytokines and antibodies. In vivo, TGP inhibited the delayed-type hypersensitivity in immuno-activated mice, and enhanced the delayed-type hypersensitivity in immuno-suppressed mice.”  1

Paeonia lactiflora has also been shown to alleviate depression.  The results of a study conducted in 2008 showed that intragastric administration of EPL at the doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg for seven days significantly reduced the duration of immobility in both forced swim test and tail suspension test.  The results clearly demonstrated the antidepressant effect of Paeonia lactiflora in animal models of depression.   2

Another study from 1993 indicates that Paeonia lactiflora improves memory.  In the present study, the effects of aqueous extracts of each component herb on scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg)-induced spatial working memory disruption were examined using an eight-arm radical maze task in rats. Among the four component herbs, peony root extract (0.25 and 1 g dried herb/kg, PO) exhibited the most potent antagonizing effect on the scopolamine disruption of the choice accuracy.  These data suggest that peony root mainly contributes to the cognitive enhancing effect of Shimotsu-to and that paeoniflorin may be one of the active constituents of peony root.  3


Informational References:

Alternative Medicine Review – Monograph Peony  (PDF)

Note: PDF files require a viewer such as the free Adobe Reader


Resources:

Max Nature – Bai Shao (Chao) – Chinese Peony (Root w/o Bark, Prepared)


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Natural MAO-B Inhibitors: Inhibiting the Degradation of Dopamine

Dopamine Neurotransmitter

Dopamine is a catecholamine monoamine neurotransmitter.

Dopamine controls the brains voltage or power.  The brains power determines the ability to:

  • Stay focused
  • Stay on task
  • Concentrate
  • Get a job done

A deficiency of dopamine results in not enough maintenance of brain voltage, which is generally manifested as the brain slowing down.

The Table below lists the physical symptoms and conditions and the corresponding voltage level:

Change in Voltage and Impact on Cognitive Abilities

Voltage Change 
VoltageConditions
20Superior energy and concentration
10Normal energy and concentration
9Fatigue, mild memory loss and cognitive deficit
8Insomnia, panic disorder
7Obesity, moderate obsessive-compulsive disorder, mild depression
6Moderate addiction,major depression
5Borderline personality disorder, chronic fatigue
4Chronic depression, violent behavior
3Attention deficit disorder
2Alzheimer’s disease
1Schizophrenia
0Coma
Source: Younger Brain, Sharper Mind, by Eric R. Braverman, MD

After age 45, the brain’s dopaminergic neurons age rapidly, causing a decline in dopamine levels of 13% per decade.  1  A drop in brain dopamine to 30% of the normal level leads to Parkinson’s, and a plummet to 10% results in death.

The following physical manifestations are apparent with a deficiency of dopamine:

  • Loss of mental intensity
  • More time and effort needed to complete a task
  • Less concentration (mind wandering)
  • Decision making is not as quick
  • Work intensity diminished

A comprehensive list of the physical manifestations of dopamine deficiency is listed in the Table below:

Dopamine Deficiency Physical Symptoms

Dopamine Deficiency 
Overall SymptomsPhysical Symptoms
Confusion/Loss of AttentionAddiction
Anemia
Bone density loss
Constipation
Diabetes
Difficulty acheiving orgasm
Disgestion problems
Excessive sleep
High blood pressure
Hypoglycemia
Impotence
Inability to lose weight
Involuntary movements
Joint pain
Kidney problems
Lack of quickness
Low sex drive
Narcolepsy
Obesity
Parkinson’s disease
Poor blood sugar stability
Poor physical strength
Poor walking
Shuffling gait
Slow metabolism
Slow or rigid movements
Thyroid disorders
Wide-based gait
Source: Younger Brain, Sharper Mind,
by Eric R. Braverman, MD

Monoamine Oxidase (MAO)

Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) is a group of endogenous oxidase enzymes.  These enzymes are present inside neurons and other cells including those of the liver.

MAOB

MAO-B

MAO breaks down (inactivates/oxidizes/metabolizes) essential monoamine neurotransmitters (this activity, when under control, is desirable to prevent the excessive accumulation of neurotransmitters, however excessive MAO production causes depletion of essential neurotransmitters):

  • MAO catalyzes the conversion of Adrenaline to Dihydroxymendalic Acid.
  • MAO catalyzes the conversion of Dopamine to Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid.
  • MAO catalyzes the conversion of Norepinephrine to Dihydroxymendalic Acid.
  • MAO catalyzes the break down of Phenylethylamine to its metabolites.

Serotonin, melatonin, noradrenaline, and adrenaline are mainly broken down by MAO-A.

Phenethylamine and benzylamine are mainly broken down by MAO-B.

Both forms break down dopamine, tyramine, and tryptamine equally.

The levels of dopamine in the brain begin to diminish with age.  2  3   This depletion of dopamine is primarily due to an increase in MAO-B.

MAO Inhibitors

MAO Inhibitors act by inhibiting the activity of monoamine oxidase, thus preventing the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters and thereby increasing their availability. There are two isoforms of monoamine oxidase, MAO-A and MAO-B.

MAO-A inhibitors act as antidepressant and antianxiety agents, whereas MAO-B inhibitors are used alone or in combination to treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are both associated with elevated levels of MAO-B in the brain.

Inhibition of MAO-B is considered desirable due to MAO-B causing the degradation of various neurotransmitters within the brain.

Natural MAO-B Inhibitors

Avena sativa L. (oats) has been traditionally used for centuries for its physical and psychological fortifying properties.

oatstraw-avena-sativa

Avena sativa L

Potentially bioactive constituents of Avena sativa L. include:  4

  • avenanthramides
  • saponins
  • phytoalexin
  • vitexin
  • isovitexin 

The researched and studied benefits of Avena sativa L include:

  • Anti-depressant effects
  • Ability to cope with stress
  • Reduced anxiety  5
  • Anti-inflammatory properties  6
  • Relief of skin irritation  7

Neuravena® (EFLA®955, Frutarom, Switzerland) is an extract of a variety of Avena sativa L., wild green oat herb.

Recent studies suggest that supplementation with an oat extract from green oats, Neuravena®, can acutely improve mental function in humans.  8  9

In vitro bioassays of Neuravena® indicated inhibitory effects on monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) and phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4).  10

Two separate studies have demonstrated the neurological benefits of Neuravena®:

  • Taking 1600 mg of oat herb extract may acutely improve attention and concentration and the ability to maintain task focus in older adults with differing levels of cognitive status.  11
  • Wild green oat extract (WGOE) supplementation can improve vasodilator function in systemic and cerebral arteries, suggesting a potential role in the maintenance of cardiovascular health.  12

There are a number of pharmaceutical MAO-B inhibitors.  Pharmaceutical MAO-B inhibitors can be very effective yet are subject to some dangers. 

One such danger is the combination of pharmaceutical MAO-B inhibitors with tyramine rich foods.  Patients taking MAO Inhibitor’s generally need to change their diets to limit or avoid foods and beverages containing tyramine. If large amounts of tyramine are consumed, they may suffer hypertensive crisis, which can be fatal.  13

The other down-side with pharmaceutical MAO-B inhibitors is that there are a number of adverse side effects.  A list of such adverse side effects can be viewed at the following websites:

National Parkinson Foundation®

University of California, San Francisco

There are additional natural MAO-B inhibitors that have been researched and studied and are listed in the Table below:

Natural MAO-B Inhibitors

MAO-B Inhibitors  
CategorySubstanceReferences
Alkaloids
Piperine1
Nicotine2
Anthraquinones
Paeonol 3
Emodin (Japanese knotweed)4
Herbs
Ginko Biloba5
Saint John’s Wort6
Licorice7
Gentian8
Green Tea9
Kaempferol10
Lycium chinense11
Uncaria rhynchophylla12
Banisteriopsis caapi (Ayahuasca)13
Hormones
DHEA14
Nootropics
Deprenyl15
Centrophenoxine16
Pigments
Hypericin (St. John’s Wort)17


Resources:

Life Extension – Dopa-MindTM


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