Apigenin Strengthens Connections Between Brain Cells

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A 2015 paper published in the Journal Advances in Regenerative Biology by researchers from D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), demonstrates in laboratory experiments that the flavone apigenin improves neuron formation and strengthens the connections between brain cells.  1

Apigenin is a flavonoid belonging to the structural class called flavones. 

Apigenin is present in many fruits, vegetables and herbs, as follows:

Fruits

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit

Vegetables

  • Kale
  • Lettuce (iceberg)
  • Licorice
  • Onions
  • Rutabaga
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Celery Seeds
  • Globe Artichoke
  • Wheat sprouts

Herbs

  • Basil
  • Holy Basil
  • Chamomile
  • Feverfew
  • Balm
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Perilla
  • Thyme

Parsley has the largest content of Apigenin than any other vegetable, fruit or herb.  Dried parsley has considerably more apigenin content than fresh parsley:

  • Parsley (fresh)    302.0 mg per 100 grams
  • Parsley (dried)    13,506.2  mg per 100 grams 

The researchers applied apigenin to human stem cells in a dish and observed that they became neurons in 25 days.  Without the application of apigenin, there would be no growth of neurons from the stem cells. 

The connections between these newly formed neurons where much stronger than normal neurons after the application of apigenin.

The researches discovered that apigenin works by binding to estrogen receptors.  Estrogen receptors affect the development, function, and plasticity of the nervous system.

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