Turmeric helps regenerate brain stem cells

Turmeric helps regenerate brain stem cells

Turmeric is one the most researched plants in the world.  Its medicinal properties have been the subject of over 6000 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.

It is armed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which fight diseases like Alzheimer’s and common cancer.

A study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy shows that a bioactive compound found in turmeric promotes the regeneration of stem cells in the brain. The findings of this study suggest that aromatic turmerone could be a future treatment for neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s and stroke.

The observed the effects of aromatic (ar-) turmerone on endogenous neutral stem cells (NSC), which are stem cells found within adult brains. NSC becomes neurons, which aid in the repair and recovery of brain functions in neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies have shown that ar-turmerone blocks activation of microglia cells, which are cells that cause neuroinflammation (a risk factor for neurological disorders). Until now, ar-turmerone’s efficacy to aid in the brain’s self-repair process was unknown.

Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Jülich, Germany studied the effects of ar-turmerone on NSC cell proliferation and differentiation. “At certain concentrations, ar-turmerone was shown to increase NSC proliferation by up to 80%, without having any impact on cell death. The cell differentiation process also accelerated in ar-turmerone-treated cells compared to untreated control cells,” the authors wrote.

To test the effects of ar-turmerone on NSC, the research team injected adult rats with ar-turmerone. Using PET imaging, they found that the subventricular zone (SVZ) was wider, and the hippocampus expanded, in the brains of the rats injected with ar-turmerone. The SVZ and hippocampus are the two regions in the brain where the growth of neurons happens.

While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine. Our findings on aromatic turmerone take us one step closer to achieving this goal,” said Adele Reuger, lead author of the study.

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REFERENCES:

1. “Turmeric Compound Boosts Regeneration of Brain Stem Cells.” EurekAlert! EurekAlert!, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

2. “Aromatic-turmerone Induces Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in Vitro and in Vivo.” Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 26 Sept. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

3. “Turmeric Compound Boosts Regeneration of Brain Stem Cells.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Hundreds of reasons to use turmeric

  2. Pingback: Turmeric lowers inflammation and blood sugar

  3. i drink a glass full every morning.

  4. Pingback: Curcumin fights Alzheimer's, Vanderbilt study shows

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