How Your Brain Physically Changes If You Consume Whole Turmeric
Many people who know of turmeric know of its amazing health benefits. But how many people know that taking the whole turmeric actually changes the brain in marvelous ways?
The compound responsible for these benefits is not just the well-known curcumin, which is valued for its tumor-fighting and antioxidant properties. The other compound is called aromatic turmerone, or ar-tumerone. This is a fat-soluble compound that increases the number of neural stem cells in the brain. Scientists saw this cell regeneration happen in rats, especially in the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. The size of these areas of the brain also grew.
The hippocampus is the seat of emotion, memory and the autonomic nervous system, which controls processes over which most animals have no conscious control, such as breathing, heartbeat, and digestion. The subventricular zone is an area in the brain where neurons or nerve cells are created.
Not only does ar-tumerone help the brain create new neurons, it creates neurons from stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells that can grow into specialized cells. This is a very unusual property. In one study, scientists placed neural stem cells from fetal rats in a petri dish and bathed them in solutions of
In one study, scientists placed neural stem cells from fetal rats in a petri dish and bathed them in solutions of ar-tumerone for 72 hours. When bathed in certain concentrations, 80 percent of the neural stem cells grew into neurons or other types of specialized cells. This wasn’t seen in studies where ar-tumerone wasn’t used. Ar-tumerone also inhibited certain types of cells that cause inflammation in nerve cells. Scientists believe that protective effects of ar-tumerone would be especially pronounced in simpler animals such as fish.
Because of its abilities to build neurons from stem cells, scientists see the possibility of treating conditions such as stroke and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease with ar-tumerone. When combined with the benefits of curcumin, the advantages of taking whole turmeric become clear.
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