How Whole Turmeric Heals the Damaged Brain

Brain regeneration: Long considered an impossible feat, compelling research now reveals how a simple spice could help stimulate stem cell-mediated repair of damaged brains

Turmeric is certainly one of the, if not thethe world’s most versatile healing spice with over 800 experimentally confirmed health benefits, and an ancient story filled with deep reverence for his seemingly compassionate power to alleviate human suffering. It may also represent the pharmaceutical industry’s most existential threat, given that preliminary scientific signs turmeric is at least as effective as 14 drugsand orders of magnitude safer in terms of toxicological risk.

That said, most of the focus of turmeric research over the past decade has been on only one of its many hundreds of phytocompounds: namely, the main polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin that gives the spice its rich golden hue. This curcumin-centric approach has led to the development of some very good products, such as phospholipid-bound curcumin concentrate (e.g., Meriva, BCM-95) which greatly helps to increase the absorption and bioactivity of curcumin. But, curcumin isolates are only capable of conferring a part of turmeric’s therapeutic power, and therein lies the limitation and arrogance of the dominant model in which the focus is on isolating the presumably main “magic ingredient”.

Indeed, it has become typical within the so-called nutraceutical industry to emulate the pharmaceutical model, which focuses on identifying a particular “monochemical” tree within the forest of complexity represented by each botanical agent, striving to standardize the delivery of each putative “active” “. ingredient’ with each serving, as if it were a pharmaceutical drug. These extraction and isolation processes also generate proprietary formulas, which is what manufacturers want to differentiate their product from all others and to capture a greater part of the market share in the future; a value proposition that serves the manufacturer and no the consumer/patient.

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In truth, there is no single ‘magic bullet’ in foods and herbs responsible for reproducing the healing power of the entire plant. There are, in fact, in most healing plants or foods hundreds of compounds orchestrated by the intelligent ‘invisible hand’ of God or ‘Nature’, or whatever you want to call it, and which can never be reduced to the activity of a single quantifiable chemical or phytocompound.

Beyond Curcumin ‘Magic Bullet’ Meme

Not long ago, a very convincing study published in the journal Stem cell research and therapyand provided additional support for the concept that curcumin alone is not sufficient to explain the healing power of turmeric as a whole plant. The study found that a poorly understood fat-soluble component within turmeric, ar-tumerone, may be “a promising candidate for supporting regeneration in neurological diseases.”

Entitled, “Aromatic-turmerone induces neural St.they cell proliferation in vitro Y Live”, German researchers evaluated the effects of this turmeric-derived compound on neural stem cells (NSC), the subset of brain cells capable of continuous self-renewal necessary for brain repair.

The study found that when brain cells were exposed to ar-tumerone, neural stem cells increased in number through increased proliferation. Furthermore, these newly formed neural stem cells also increased the number of fully differentiated neuronal cells, indicating that a healing effect was taking place. This effect was also seen in a live animal model, showing that rats injected with ar-tumerone into the brain experienced increases in neural stem cell proliferation and the creation of newly formed healthy brain cells.

How to get the most out of turmeric

One of the most frequently asked questions we answer is “what is the best type of turmeric or curcumin to use?” Obviously, given the aforementioned research, the entire plant will have a broader range of therapeutic compounds than curcumin alone. And yet, most have been heavily enculturated to focus entirely on the ‘how much’ question, opting to identify the molecular weight (i.e., how many milligrams in a serving) of a particular compound as more important than qualitative dimensions ( for example, is it organic? Is it delivered within its natural context as food or as a whole plant?) that reflect the type of nutrigenomic information that the substance contains and thus the ‘intelligence’ that it embodies.

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And really, there is no generic answer to a generic question about the best way to take turmeric/curcumin. The question always comes from an individual with a particular need, so the recommendations must be bio-individualized.

For example, if you have colonic inflammation or polyps, and are trying to use turmeric to reduce inflammation there or regress precancerous growths, then it’s best to use the whole plant rather than a highly bioavailable form of curcumin in capsule form ( eg Meriva), for example, which will probably be absorbed by the small intestine and will mostly pass through the liver and never reach the large intestine in adequate amounts. So, in this person’s case, taking a teaspoon of relatively difficult-to-absorb turmeric may result in painting the diseased surfaces of that person’s intestinal or colonic lumen in exactly the shape needed to reverse the disease.

But what if you have someone who wants to experience a systemic effect, say, for arthritis or brain cancer? In these cases, the ideal would be to obtain turmeric compounds such as curcumin through the glucuronidation barrier in the liver with a combination of phospholipids or black pepper (piperine). There is certainly a place for the ‘nutraceutical’ model when applied correctly, especially when provided as an adjunct to the pharmaceutical model within an integrative medical setting.

Ultimately, the goal is not to wait until you have a health problem so serious that you have to force yourself to take a ‘heroic dose’ of any herb or food extract. Small amounts are best used in culinary doses in combination with ingredients that synergize on a physicochemical/informational and sensual basis (producing the important vitamin P [pleasure] too!). We recently presented a study that showed culinary doses of rosemary helped improve memory while the higher ‘heroic’ doses hurt it!

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This is why exploring the use of turmeric in curries, or adding a pinch to a smoothie, may be an ideal daily supplementation approach, rather than capsules, whose questionably “natural” capsules and excipients can add up. and cause some stress on the liver. is trying to protect with these natural interventions. Just remember that quality is everything and less can be more!

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