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  #1  
Old 04-09-2012, 09:37 AM
nyspirit nyspirit is offline
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Default Ancient Herb Ashwagandha Proven to be a Potential Cure for Alzheimer's

By Dr. Mercola

Ashwagandha is a small evergreen perennial herb that grows up to nearly 5 feet
Regardless of the name you use to describe this adaptogenic herb, ashwaganda has been a part of India's Ayurvedic medical system for thousands of years.

While often regarded as an herb for stress reduction and improved energy and vitality, there is a robust body of scientific research confiming ashwaganda's potential therapeutic value in several dozen health conditions.i

Now, new research has revealed this herb may also fight off the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), however, have conducted studies on mice that suggest ashwaganda extract may reverse memory loss and improve cognitive abilities in those with the disease. Initially, mice with Alzheimer's were unable to learn or retain what they learned, but after receiving ashwaganda for 20 days, this improved significantly. After 30 days, the behavior of the mice returned to normal. Researchers reported:
•A reduction in amyloid plaques (amyloid plaques, along with tangles of nerve fibers, contribute to the degradation of the wiring in brain cells)
•Improved cognitive abilities
Rather than impacting the brain directly, researchers found that the herb worked by boosting a protein in the liver, which enters the bloodstream and helps clear amyloid from the brain. Researchers concluded:

"The remarkable therapeutic effect of W. somnifera [ashwaganda] … reverses the behavioral deficits and pathology seen in Alzheimer's disease models."

The featured study is not the first time this humble herb has been implicated in improved brain health among Alzheimer's disease patients. In 2005, researchers found that withanolide derivatives (withanolide A, withanoside IV, and withanoside VI) isolated from ashwagandha improved neurite extension in both normal and damaged brain cells in Alzheimer's disease-model mice.iii This is a key component of treating the disease, as researchers pointed out:

Separate research in Phytotherapy Research, published in 2010, revealed ashwaganda may help manage cell damage in the brain, offering even more potent antioxidant activity than vitamins A, C, and E.iv They noted:

"Several studies have revealed that natural antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene, may help in scavenging free radicals generated during the initiation and progression of this [Alzheimer's] disease. Therefore, there has been considerable interest in plant phytochemicals with antioxidant property as potential agents to prevent the progression of AD. Our earlier investigations of the Withania somnifera fruit afforded lipid peroxidation inhibitory withanamides that are more potent than the commercial antioxidants.

The compound curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, is another notable herb for brain health. Recently revealed as effective in helping to stop the protein clumping that is the first step in diseases such as Parkinson's disease,v past research has shown that curcumin may help inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, as well as break up existing plaques.
Researchers determined:
•Curcumin is more effective in inhibiting the formation of the protein fragments than many other potential Alzheimer's treatments
•The low molecular weight and polar structure of curcumin allows it to penetrate the blood-brain barrier effectively and bind to beta amyloid
•Alzheimer's symptoms caused by inflammation and oxidation are eased by curcumin's powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
People with Alzheimer's tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, and curcumin is most known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The compound has been shown to influence the expression of more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that modulate inflammation.

Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important biomolecules in your brain and protect brain cells. Vitamin D receptors have been identified throughout the human body, and that includes in your brain. Metabolic pathways for vitamin D exist in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain, areas that are involved in planning, processing of information, and the formation of new memories.

Sufficient vitamin D is also imperative for the proper functioning of your immune system to combat excessive inflammation, and, as mentioned earlier, other research has discovered that people with Alzheimer's tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains.
•Fructose. Ideally it is important to keep your level below 25 grams per day. This toxic influence is serving as an important regulator of brain toxicity. Since the average person is exceeding this recommendation by 300% this is a pervasive and serious issue. I view this as the MOST important step you can take. Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol. This is yet another important facet that explains how and why excessive fructose consumption is so detrimental to your health.
•Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3. This is indirectly related to fructose, as it will clearly lead to insulin resistance. However other sugars, grains and lack of exercise are also factors here.
•Vitamin B12: According to a small Finnish study recently published in the journal Neurologyvii , people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer's in their later years. For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 (holotranscobalamin) the risk of developing Alzheimer's was reduced by 2 percent. Very high doses of B vitamins have also been found to treat Alzheimer's disease and reduce memory loss.
•Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate, such as the one described in my nutrition plan. Strict vegetarian diets have been shown to increase Alzheimer's risk, whereas diets high in omega-3's lower your risk. However, vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day.
•High-quality animal based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. (I recommend avoiding most fish because although fish is naturally high in omega-3, most fish are now severely contaminated with mercury.) High intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. Researchers have also said DHA "dramatically reduces the impact of the Alzheimer's gene."
•Avoid and remove mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.
•Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc.
•Exercise regularly. It's been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized, thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer's. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. New research has shown that people with Alzheimer's have less PGC-1alpha in their brainsviii , and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer's. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.
•Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, as well as egg proteins (e.g. myelin basic protein), which the body may produce antibodies against and that cross-react with the myelin coating your nerves, in effect causing your immune system to attack your nervous system!
•Eat blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
•Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
•Avoid anticholinergic and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain night-time pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.
__________________________________________________ _________
Ashwaganda is one of my favorite miracle herbs. I take it every day and will till the day I die. I once read that it may help prevent you from getting HIV. I also read that most senior citizens age 85 and over will have a 50% chance of getting Alzheimer's disease.
This is truly a remarkable herb.
Be Healthy
NYSpirit

Last edited by nyspirit : 04-12-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2012, 06:48 PM
paulaj paulaj is offline
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Thanks NYSpirit. What great information. Another friend of mine is turning me on to the benefits of mushrooms. I love learning about these benefits. I credit the Sunday night chat groups for getting me to switch from cows milk to almond milk.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:46 PM
nyspirit nyspirit is offline
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Default Stay Away From Mushrooms !

Hello Happy Dancer,

I discovered that mushrooms ferment in your body. Fermenation can cause havoc and poor health. I would do some research if I were you.

Caution and Healthy Eating.
NYSpirit
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:10 PM
paulaj paulaj is offline
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Oh Okay. Thanks so much!
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2012, 10:53 AM
Brit Brit is offline
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Coconut oil is amazing for Alzheimer's too. Lots of research on it.
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