Monthly Archives: December 2015


B Vitamins: Lowers Homocysteine resulting in slower acceleration of Brain Atrophy

A study from 2010 entitled Homocysteine-Lowering by B Vitamins Slows the Rate of Accelerated Brain Atrophy in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial, PLoS One. 2010; 5(9): e12244. Published online 2010 Sep 8. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0012244, determined whether supplementation with B vitamins that lower levels of plasma total homocysteine can slow the rate of brain atrophy in subjects with mild cognitive impairment in a randomised controlled trial.

The tissue and plasma concentrations of homocysteine are largely determined by the body’s status of certain B vitamins (folate, B6 and B12), which are cofactors or substrates for enzymes involved in homocysteine metabolism.  Homocysteine is a risk factor for brain atrophy, cognitive impairment and dementia. There is a wide body of scientific evidence that plasma concentrations of homocysteine can be lowered by dietary administration of B vitamins.

The 2010 study was a single-center, randomized, double-blind controlled trial of high-dose folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 in 271 individuals (of 646 screened) over 70 y old with mild cognitive impairment. A subset (187) volunteered to have cranial MRI scans at the start and finish of the study.

Participants were randomly assigned to two groups of equal size, one treated with:

  • folic acid (0.8 mg/d)
  • vitamin B6 (20 mg/d)
  • vitamin B12 (0.5 mg/d)

the other with placebo; treatment was for 24 months.

A total of 168 participants (85 in active treatment group; 83 receiving placebo) completed the MRI section of the trial. The mean rate of brain atrophy per year was 0.76% [95% CI, 0.63–0.90] in the active treatment group and 1.08% [0.94–1.22] in the placebo group (P = 0.001). The treatment response was related to baseline homocysteine levels: the rate of atrophy in participants with homocysteine >13 µmol/L was 53% lower in the active treatment group (P = 0.001). A greater rate of atrophy was associated with a lower final cognitive test scores.

The conclusion of the study was that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment can be slowed by treatment with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins.


Folic Acid (as L-Methylfolate)

Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal 5’-phosphate)

Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin)

Whole Food Vitamin B Complex

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Mental Function Aliments: Natural Substances

The most prevalent and common aliments that affect mental function include:

  • Age Related Cognitive Decline
  • Age Related Memory Impairment
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Attention deficit disorder/Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD-PI/ADHD)

The downloadable document (PDF) below provides Tables for each mental function aliment that lists the researched and recognized natural substances that have been studied for the following mental function aliments:

Mental Function Aliments – Natural Substances* (PDF)

*The contents of this document have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any substances referred to in this document are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor. BioFoundations does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, consult your physician.

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Mental Function Aliments: Potential Causes

The most prevalent and common aliments that affect mental function include:

  • Age Related Cognitive Decline
  • Age Related Memory Impairment
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Attention deficit disorder/Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD-PI/ADHD)

The downloadable document (PDF) below provides Tables for each mental function aliment that lists the researched and recognized potential causes of these aliments.

Mental Function Aliments (PDF)

The Table below is a summary of Potential Causes of Mental Aliments, which is based on the Tables in Mental Function Aliments:

Summary of Potential Causes of Mental Aliments

4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE)X1
Amyloid Beta ProteinXX2
Apoprotein (e)X1
Aspartic AcidX1
Bisphenol AX1
Brain injuriesX1
Celiac diseaseX1
Cerebral InsufficiencyX1
Chlamydia pneumoniaeX1
Chronic infectionX1
C-Reactive ProteinX1
Cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2)X1
Ethanol (Alcohol)XX2
Food AdditivesX1
Genetic (ADD/ADHD)X1
Glutamic AcidX1
Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3X1
Helicobacter pyloriX1
Hormonal ImbalanceX1
Interleukin 1 (IL-1)X1
Interleukin 6 (IL-6)X1
Mineral deficienciesX1
Mitochondrial dysfunctionX1
Monoamine Oxidase Type BX1
Monosodium GlutamateX1
Neurofibrillary tanglesX1
Omega Fatty Acid InsufficiencyX1
Oxidative Stress (Free radicals)XX2
Polyfluoroalkyl CompoundsX1
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)X1
Saturated Fatty AcidsXX2
Senile PlaquesX1
Sex Hormones (Loss)X1
Trans Fatty AcidsX1
Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)X1
Uric AcidX1
ARCD - Age Related Cognitive Decline
ARMD - Age Related Memory Impairment
DEM - Dementia
ALZ - Alzheimer’s Disease
ADHD-PI/ADHD - Attention deficit disorder/Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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Cerebral Spinal Fluid: The Water of Life

The brain produces roughly 500 mL of cerebrospinal fluid per day. This fluid is constantly reabsorbed, so that only 100-160 mL is present at any one time.

The entire surface of central nervous system is bathed by a clear, colorless fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF is contained within a system of fluid-filled cavities called ventricles.

Neurogenesis is dependent on the CSF. New neurons are created and travel in the CSF. [ [i] ] Hydration is the key to the CSF. [ [ii] ]

Ependymal cells of the choroid plexus produce more than two thirds of CSF. The choroid plexus is a venous plexus contained within the four ventricles of the brain, hollow structures inside the brain filled with CSF. The remainder of the CSF is produced by the surfaces of the ventricles and by the lining surrounding the subarachnoid space.

CSF Flow

Circulation of CSF. CSF (gray) is secreted by the choroid plexus present in the cerebral ventricles and by extrachoroidal sources. It subsequently circulates through the ventricular cavities and into the subarachnoid space. Absorption into the venous blood (dark orange) occurs through the arachnoid villi in the superior sagittal sinus and along the optic, olfactory and spinal nerve sheaths

From: Blood—Cerebrospinal Fluid Barrier Cover of Basic Neurochemistry Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects. 6th edition. Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, et al., editors. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1999. Copyright © 1999, American Society for Neurochemistry.

CSF serves several purposes:

1.  Buoyancy: The actual mass of the human brain is about 1400 grams; however, the net weight of the brain suspended in the CSF is equivalent to a mass of 25 grams. The brain therefore exists in neutral buoyancy, which allows the brain to maintain its density without being impaired by its own weight, which would cut off blood supply and kill neurons in the lower sections without CSF.

2.  Protection: CSF protects the brain tissue from injury when jolted or hit. In certain situations such as auto accidents or sports injuries, the CSF cannot protect the brain from forced contact with the skull case, causing hemorrhaging, brain damage, and sometimes death.

3.  Chemical stability: CSF flows throughout the inner ventricular system in the brain and is absorbed back into the bloodstream, rinsing the metabolic waste from the central nervous system through the blood–brain barrier. This allows for homeostatic regulation of the distribution of neuroendocrine factors, to which slight changes can cause problems or damage to the nervous system. For example, high glycine concentration disrupts temperature and blood pressure control, and high CSF pH causes dizziness and syncope. To use Davson’s term, the CSF has a “sink action” by which the various substances formed in the nervous tissue during its metabolic activity diffuse rapidly into the CSF and are thus removed into the bloodstream as CSF is absorbed.

4.  Prevention of brain ischemia: The prevention of brain ischemia is made by decreasing the amount of CSF in the limited space inside the skull. This decreases total intracranial pressure and facilitates blood perfusion.

5.  Clearing waste: CSF has been shown by the research group of Maiken Nedergaard to be critical in the brain’s glymphatic system, which plays an important role in flushing metabolic toxins or waste from the brain’s tissues’ cellular interstitial fluid (ISF). CSF flushing of wastes from brain tissue is further increased during sleep, which results from the opening of extracellular channels controlled through the contraction of glials cells, which allows for the rapid influx of CSF into the brain. These findings indicate that CSF may play a large role during sleep in clearing metabolic waste, like beta amyloid, that are produced by the activity in the awake brain.

6.  Endocrine medium for the brain: the CSF serves to transport hormones to other areas of the brain. Hormones released into the CSF can be carried to remote sites of the brain where they may act.

Typical Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) and Plasma Concentrations of Various Substances

SubstanceCSFPlasmaCSF/plasma ratio
Electrolytes (mEq/l)
Metabolites (mM)
Amino acids (μM)
  Aspartic acid0.22.00.1
  Glutamic acid26.161.30.4
Proteins (mg/l)
  Total protein35070,0000.005
From: Constancy of the Internal Environment of the Brain
Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects. 6th edition.
Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, et al., editors.
Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1999.
Copyright © 1999, American Society for Neurochemistry

The Table below lists the researched substances that enhance the cerebral spinal fluid:

Substances that Enhance the Cerebral Spinal Fluid

Amino Acid


[i] Neurogenesis at the Brain–Cerebrospinal Fluid Interface

[ii] Investigating Structural Brain Changes of Dehydration Using Voxel-Based Morphometry

Daniel-Paolo Streitbürger, Harald E. Möller, Marc Tittgemeyer, Margret Hund-Georgiadis,

Matthias L. Schroeter, Karsten Mueller Published: August 29, 2012 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044195

Dehydration confounds the assessment of brain atrophy, T. Duning, MD, S. Kloska, MD, O. Steinsträter, PhD, H. Kugel, PhD, W. Heindel, MD and S. Knecht, MD

Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents

Effects of fluid ingestion on cognitive function after heat stress or exercise-induced dehydration

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Grains of Paradise

Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This spice, commonly known as grains of paradise, Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains, fom wisa, or Guinea pepper, is obtained from the ground seeds; it imparts a pungent, peppery flavour with hints of citrus. It is native to West Africa.

Scientists have investigated the acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity and antioxidant properties of phenolic-rich extracts from two Aframomum melegueta seeds.  The inhibitory effect of these extracts on acetylcholinesterase activity and their antioxidant property could be attributed to the combined effect of phenolic and non-phenolic constituents of the seeds. These effects could be part of the possible biochemical mechanism by which these seeds elicit their protection against oxidative stress in brain; however, A. melegueta showed the more promising potential.

The Table below lists the health benefits of Grains of Paradise:

Health Benefitsof Grains of Paradise

Grains of Paradise  
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor
Inhibits Acetylcholinesterase1
115mg/kg of Aframomum melegueta daily for 8 days noted an increase in the penile erection index (PEI)2

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Preventing and Removing the Accumulation of Lipofuscin: Potential Natural Therapies

Lipofuscin is the name given to finely granular yellow-brown pigment granules composed of lipid-containing residues of lysosomal digestion.

It is commonly found in the:

  • liver
  • kidney
  • heart muscle
  • retina
  • adrenals
  • nerve cells
  • ganglion cells

The loss of mitochondrial function can cause the buildup of aging pigments known as lipofuscin.  Lipofuscin builds up when a cellular “garbage-disposal system” (i.e., autophagy) breaks down. Eventually, with the decrease in autophagy and related increase in lipofuscin, there is increased oxidative stress, decreased energy production, and ultimately, cell death.

Eventually, with the decrease in autophagy and related increase in lipofuscin, there is increased oxidative stress, decreased energy production, and ultimately, cell death.

It appears to be the product of the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, and may be symptomatic of membrane damage, or damage to mitochondria and lysosomes. Aside from a large lipid content, lipofuscin is known to contain sugars and metals, including mercury, aluminum, iron, copper and zinc.

Potential Natural Therapies

There are a number of natural therapies that can be used to reduce the accumulation of lipofuscin.  The following natural substances have been studied for their ability to reduce lipofuscn accumulation:

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine  1
  • Centrophenoxine  2
  • Creatine  3
  • DMAE  4
  • Ginkgo Biloba  5
  • Piracetam  6

Informational References:

BioFoundations – Lipopigments






Ginkgo Biloba


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Allspice: A Powerful Spice

Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, pimento, English pepper or newspice, is the dried unripe fruit (“berries”, used as a spice) of Pimenta dioica. 


Allspice plant

The follow compounds are found in Allspice:

Compounds in Allspice

Eugenol methyl ether
ellagic acid

The Table below lists the recognized and researched health benefits of Allspice:

Health Benefits of Allspice

Inhibits advanced glycation end products1
Two new polyphenolic glucosides, 6'-O-acetylisobiflorin (1) and (2S)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-propane-1,2-diol 1-O-(6'-O-galloyl)-β-D-glucoside (2), showed the most potent antioxidative activity [ORAC value of 39,270 µmol TE (trolox equivalent)/g].2
Allspice may help to lower blood pressure in hypertension patients.3
Allspice may lower elevated triglycerides levels4
Allspice may inhibit Shigella flexneri5

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The nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway: An alternative to producing Nitric Oxide

There are two pathways to produce nitric oxide in the human body:

  • L-arginine – nitric oxide pathway
  • Nitrate – nitrite – nitric oxide pathway

Nitric oxide that is produced by the L-arginine-nitricoxide pathway is biosynthesized endogenously from L-arginine, oxygen, and NADPH by various nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes.

The inorganic anions nitrate (NO3−) and nitrite (NO2−) were previously thought to be inert end products of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) metabolism. However, recent studies show that these supposedly inert anions can be recycled in vivo to form NO, representing an important alternative source of NO to the classical l-arginine–NO-synthase pathway. The nitrate – nitrite – nitric oxide pathway is independent of nitric oxide synthase.

The nitrate – nitrite – nitric oxide pathway elevates nitric oxide through the reduction of dietary nitrate in the form of nitrate rich vegetables such as leafy greens, spinach, arugula, and beetroot. The reduction of nitrate to nitrite occurs in the mouth, by commensal bacteria, which is an obligatory and necessary step.

Nitrate Content of Vegetables

VegetableNitrate content (in mg/kg)
Beet Root1,459mg/kg (range of 644–1,800mg/kg)
Radish1,868mg/kg (range of 1,060–2,600mg/kg)
Spinach2,137mg/kg (range of 65–4,259mg/kg)
Lettuce1,893mg/kg (range of 970–2,782mg/kg)
Lamb's lettuce2,572mg/kg
Chinese cabbage1,388mg/kg (range of 1,040–1,859mg/kg)
Swiss chard1,597mg/kg
Crown daisy5,150mg/kg
Turnip624mg/kg (307–908mg/kg)
Green beans496mg/kg (449–585mg/kg)
Cucumber240mg/kg (151–384mg/kg)
Carrot222mg/kg (121–316mg/kg)
Garlic183mg/kg (34–455mg/kg)
Green pepper111mg/kg (76–159mg/kg)
Tomatoes69mg/kg (27–170mg/kg)

In addition to or as an alternative to consuming nitrate rich vegetables, Nutriguard Research has formulated a supplement which produces nitric oxide in the body through the nitrate – nitrite – nitric oxide pathway utilizing potassium nitrate.

Following is the label printed on the bottle of Nutriguard Research’s Potassium Nitrate supplement:

There is increasing evidence that the whole protective benefits of diets rich in green leafy vegetables, or beets, and beet juice are mediated at least in part by the hiding nitrate content of these foods. Within the body, nitrate can be converted first two nitrite by oral bacteria, and then to nitric oxide, a hormone like compound that contributes importantly to the health of the circulatory system, brain, and bones.

Research also suggests that the nitric oxide generated via nitrate ingestion may improve the efficiency of muscle bioenergetics during exercise. In vegetables, nitrate usually occurs in association with potassium, an electrolyte that likewise is important for vascular health, and that is poorly supplied by many older refined diets. The nitrate content of four capsules, two capsules twice daily of this product about 600 mg is approximately equal to that provided by half liter of beet juice, the daily quantity of beet juice that has been employed in many intriguing recent clinical studies. These capsules provide food grade potassium nitrate, approved for use as a meat preservative.

Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables and drinking a lot of beet juice is a smart way to get your dietary nitrate, because these old foods contain other nutrients and phytochemicals that are protected. But optimal intakes of the Jews are quite expensive and it isn’t always easy to the large amounts of green leafy vegetables daily basis. So these capsules can help you to achieve a more consistent Apple intake of nitrate in conjunction with protective potassium. Do not exceed recommended dose.”


The nitrate–nitrite–nitric oxide pathway in physiology and therapeutics

The nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway: Its role in human exercise physiology

Nitrate–Nitrite–Nitric Oxide Pathway in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Therapeutics

Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits

Ghosh, S. M.; Kapil, V.; Fuentes-Calvo, I.; Bubb, K. J.; Pearl, V.; Milsom, A. B.; Khambata, R.; Maleki-Toyserkani, S.; Yousuf, M.; Benjamin, N.; Webb, A. J.; Caulfield, M. J.; Hobbs, A. J.; Ahluwalia, A. (2013). “Enhanced Vasodilator Activity of Nitrite in Hypertension: Critical Role for Erythrocytic Xanthine Oxidoreductase and Translational Potential”. Hypertension 61 (5): 1091–102. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00933. PMID 23589565.

Webb, A. J.; Patel, N.; Loukogeorgakis, S.; Okorie, M.; Aboud, Z.; Misra, S.; Rashid, R.; Miall, P.; Deanfield, J.; Benjamin, N.; MacAllister, R.; Hobbs, A. J.; Ahluwalia, A. (2008). “Acute Blood Pressure Lowering, Vasoprotective, and Antiplatelet Properties of Dietary Nitrate via Bioconversion to Nitrite”. Hypertension 51 (3): 784–90. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.103523. PMC 2839282. PMID 18250365.

Hezel, MP; Weitzberg, E (2013). “The oral microbiome and nitric oxide homoeostasis”. Oral Diseases: n/a. doi:10.1111/odi.12157.


Nutriguard Research – Potassium Nitrate

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Japanese Black Vinegar: Promising Health Benefits

Japanese Black Vinegar is an inky-black vinegar aged for a rich, mellow, malty, woody, and smoky flavor made typically from rice.   There are two types of Japanese Black Vinegar’s with known medicinal value:

  • Awamori Moromi Su Black Vinegar
  • Kurozu Japanese Black Vinegar

Awamori Moromisu Black Vinegar

Awamori Moromisu Black Vinegar is actually light in color. It is a tonic made from the fermented rice mash, moromi, that is a by product of awamori.  Awamori is consumed by inhabitants of Okinawa.

Awamori Moromisu Black Vinegar is rich in citric acid, amino acid, vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin B-1
  • Vitamin B-2
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

The amino acid content per liter is as follows:

Awamori Moromisu Black Vinegar Amino Acid Content

Amino AcidMilligrams
Aspartic acid241mg
Glutamic acid373mg

Awamori Moromisu Black Vinegar has16 times the amount of amino acids compared to normal Japanese vinegar and 43 times the amount in apple cider vinegar.

Awamori Moromisu Black Vinegar is also very high in citric acid with 1150mg per liter.

There is little if any scientific studies on Awamori Moromisu Black Vinegar at the present time.

Kurozu Japanese Black Vinegar

Kurozu is a traditional Japanese black vinegar that is used in the preparation of foods. It is manufactured, mainly in Kagoshima prefecture in Japan, by fermentation of unpolished rice with lactobacillus and Koji bacillus in earthenware jars for more than one year, during which time it gradually becomes black. The supernatant is known as Kurozu, and the solid sediment, which is rich in organic materials, minerals, amino acids and so on, is known as Kurozu Moromimatsu (Kurozu-M).

When it ages, it becomes a brownish, darker colored liquid, hence the name “black vinegar.” It is rich in citric acid, vitamins and minerals.

There is considerable amount of scientific research on Kurozu as evidenced in the list of cites in the Table below:

Kurozu Japanese Black Vinegar Health Benefits

Colon carcinogenesis Kurosu may be effective for inhibiting colon carcinogenesisA
Inhibits tumor growth Kurozu-M prolonged the lifespan of cancer cell-transplanted mice, inhibited tumor progression, and reduced nitrotyrosine production and MMP activationB
Inhibits the proliferation of human cancer cellsKurosu causes G0/G1 arrest through p21 induction and, thus, is a potential apoptosis inducer in Caco-2 cellsC
ColitisKurozu exerts a protective effect against DSS-induced colitis in
mice, and one of the mechanisms involved may be an anti-oxidative or anti-nitration stress
Anti-obesityOral administration of KCL decreases the adipocyte size via inhibition of dietary fat absorption and reductions of PPARγ and aP2 mRNA expression levels in adipocytesE
Hepatocellular carcinomaResults indicate that Kurozu moromimatsu inhibited the growth of hepatocellular carcinomaF
Squamous cell carcinoma cellsFindings indicate that Kurosu inhibits the proliferation of human SCC cells via programmed necrosis (necroptosis)G
Antioxidant activityResults suggest that "IZUMI", a Kurosu containing a higher level of amino acids, increases antioxidant activity and reduces oxidative stress and blood filtration time in female subjectsH I


Swansons – Awamori Moromi Black Vinegar  (Pills)

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Cloves: Multiple Health Benefits

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum.

The clove tree is an evergreen tree that grows up to 8–12 m tall, with large leaves and sanguine flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds initially have a pale hue, gradually turn green, then transition to a bright red when ready for harvest.

Cloves contain the following active compounds:

Compounds in Cloves

Eugenol(comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves)
Eugenol acetate
Acetyl eugenol,
Crategolic acid,
gallotannic acid
methyl salicylate (painkiller)
oleanolic acid

The Table below lists the recognized and researched studies on the health benefit of Cloves:

Health Benefits of Cloves

Inhibits advanced glycation end products1
The clove essential oil had the highest amount of total phenols (898.89 mg/l GAE) and showed the highest percentage inhibition of DPPH radical (98.74%) and the highest FRAP value (1.47 TEAC).2
Clove oil can reverse the short-term and long-term memory deficits induced by scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg, i. p.) and this effect can, to some extent, be attributed to decreased oxidative stress.3 4
Eugenol possesses an antidepressant-like activity.5
A body of evidence suggests that eugenol can be used as a drug for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD).6
Increases BDNF
Eugenol, like other antidepressants, increases expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene in the hippocampus, which is necessary for an antidepressant to exhibit its activity.7
Inhibits MAO-A
Eugenol inhibits monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) and may restore monoamines that are decreased in the brain of patients with depression.8
Eugenol protected mice from 6-OHDA-induced Parkinson’s disease9
Gastrointestinal System
Bacillus subtillis
May suppress bacillus subtillis10
Escherichia coli
May suppress escherichia coli11
Shigell flexneri
May suppress shigella flexneri12
Sexual/Reproductive System
Sexual performanceCloves may improve (male) sexual performance13

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