New brain cells: neurogenesis through the consumption of turmeric.

September 23, 2015

I have a keen interest in anything that can help me grow new brain cells, because I have abused alcohol in varying degrees throughout my life. There is strong evidence that curcumin, a component found in the spice turmeric, can promote the creation of new brain cells: neurogenesis.

"Genesis": creation.

"Neuro": brain cell.

Before 1999, scientific dogma claimed that the adult supply of brain cells could not be replenished. Once brain cells died, they were lost forever. Then in 1999 Princeton University researchers reported in the Oct. 15 issue of "Science" that in adults “the formation of new neurons — neurogenesis — takes place in several regions of the cerebral cortex that are crucial for cognitive and perceptual functions.” (1)

Curcumin is anti-inflammatory, it is known to combat various cancers, it inhibits the expression of the nuclear factor NF-kappaB (which is implicated in aging as well as several neurodegenerative diseases), curcumin helps regulate several genes which control apoptosis (programmed cell death), curcumin is a COX-2 enzyme inhibitor, it protects against bone loss, and it chelates heavy metals.

As of September 2015, Google Scholar lists 2,800 research citations for the search terms "curcumin neurogenesis". Curcumin is neuroprotective and may also help with depression.

 

How to increase your body's absorption rate of turmeric.

Turmeric tends to be poorly absorbed by the body. In order to increase the rate of absorption of turmeric, make sure you comsume black pepper and coconut oil at the same time. The piperine in black pepper is reported to increase turmeric absorption rate by up to 2,000%, and turmeric is fat-soluble and will be better absorbed when ingested with coconut oil.

 

 

In addition to consuming curcumin (turmeric), here are other lifestyle habits which you can implement which will promore neurogenesis and overall good brain health:

1- Sufficient sleep. I like to take 3mg of sublingual melatonin before bed. Ayurveda recommends going to be before 10pm.

2- Proper diet (coconut oil is reported to help people suffering from dementia, fruit and vegetable smoothies, Himalayan pink salt is a great source of trace minerals, raw eggs are rich in choline which nourishes the brain, walnuts are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, garlic contains 33 different sulfur compounds beneficial to health, the herb bacopa monnieri acts as antioxidant in the brain, Intermittent Fasting).

Another great source of Omega 3 fatty acids is sardines. Because they have short lives, sardines do not accumulate as much mercury and other toxins from the ocean as other fish with longer lives, such as tuna and salmon.

3- Meditation (stress management). Every experience you have changes your brain, and nothing changes your brain like Transcendental Meditation.

4- Proper exercice. Exercise promotes Brain Derived Neurotropic Factors (BDNF), increases blood flow to the brain, regulates blood pressure and hormones, the body was meant to move.

 

 


References

1- http://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/99/q4/1014-brain.htm

 

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2015 Healing Daily