Vitamin C supplements were associated with a lower prevalence of more severe cognitive impairment in a study involving 117 people. This study suggests vitamin C may protect against cognitive impairment. Studies like this suggested that antioxidant vitamins may protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. These can be formed from external insults or internally as molecular byproducts of basic cellular metabolism. Neurons are especially vulnerable to damage caused by free radicals, which is believed to be one pathway for the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of free radicals formed when fat undergoes oxidation. Researchers are still trying to determine if reducing free radical production can prevent or delay chronic diseases associated with free radical production. Many claims have been made about vitamin E’s ability to promote health and prevent and treat disease. The following discussion reviews the role of vitamin E as it pertains to heart disease and cognitive decline.
Curcumin (Curcuma longa) has recently seen and increase in attention from the western medical community because of its herbal antioxidant properties , especially due to the fact that it combats free radicals, and due to its anti-inflammatory supplement properties because helps to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and heat.
Curcumin has a molecular formula that is similar to other plant pigments called polyphenols (chemicals containing multiple “phenol” groups). These phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) have been demonstrated to have herbal antioxidant properties, and anti-inflammatory supplement properties. Other polyphenolic compounds include catechins from green tea extract, resveratrol from grape seed extract, quercetin from apples, and luteolin from celery. Their herbal antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory supplement properties have all been researched for possible medicinal or preventive value.
Curcumin has also received attention in the medical research community as a treatment for Alzheimer’s prevention. A major factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease is the development of beta amyloid plaque in the brain. Curcumin holds out hope that it can directly bind to beta amyloid plaque and help the immune system (microglia) remove amyloid protein. In animal models that replicate Alzheimer’s prevention, treatment with curcumin reduced the levels of beta-amyloid by 40 percent compared with mice not treated with curcumin.
Bioperine® is a concentrated form of black pepper’s active ingredient, piperine. At one point in history, black pepper was the most desired spice in the world. The Age of Exploration and the establishment of European trade routes to the East were greatly motivated for the demand of these spices.
Bioperine® is included in Neurcumin® because it safely enhances the absorption and bioavailability of other nutritional supplements. Specifically, bioperine® enhance the bioavailability of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, folic acid, coenzyme Q10, and curcumin. In fact, the concomitant administration of Bioperine® increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. Multiple double-blind clinical studies have validated that Bioperine® increases absorption of other nutrients.
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful “neuro booster” in animal models. It protects neurons from free radical damage caused by both beta amyloid and free radicals (hydrogen peroxide). A small human study showed it delayed Alzheimer’s disease progression when subjects were given alpha lipoic acid for one year, making it a promising instrument in Alzheimer’s prevention. This study confirmed alpha lipoic acid supplementation appeared to significantly lower Alzheimer’s disease compared to untreated patients, or patients on choline-esterase inhibitors. The authors concluded “that treatment with alpha lipoic acid might be a successful neuroprotective therapy”. Moreover, other publications have indicated that alpha lipoic acid has a positive effect in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, and holding out hope for the far reaching goal of Alzheimer’s prevention.
Coenzyme Q10 (2,3 dimethoxy-5 methyl-6-decaprenyl benzoquinone) is a fat-soluble, quinone nutrient. It is a ubiquitous compound necessary for a number of reactions related to energy metabolism and is vital for the proper transfer of electrons within the mitochondrial oxidative respiratory chain. Since dysfunctional energy metabolism has been implicated as a contributing factor for a number of conditions, coenzyme Q10 has been utilized in the treatment of cardiac, neurologic, and immunologic disorders. Coenzyme Q10 has also been demonstrated to prevent lipid peroxidation as an antioxidant.
Grape seed extract PCOs serve as neuroprotective agents in the prevention of stroke, not only because they protect blood vessels but also because they are among the few dietary antioxidants that readily cross the blood-brain barrier. Their hemodynamic, free radical scavenging, and cholesterol-lowering abilities help protect against stroke. They maintain blood vessel health, enhance blood supply to the brain, and reduce the viscosity of blood, which has been implicated as a causative factor for stroke. They further prevent vascular injury by strengthening blood vessel walls. This is of particular importance to diabetics since they are especially prone to vascular fragility. By readily traversing the blood-brain barrier, they are able to prevent injuries related to oxidative stress from free radicals and aid in recovery from free radical damage. By preventing beta amyloid accumulation in the brain cells, they may also prevent the formation of toxic plaques that disrupt normal brain function in Alzheimer’s disease.
Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in India and China for nearly 5,000 years. Green tea extract is derived from leaves of camellia sinensis, the same plant of origin of black and oolong teas. There are many health benefits associated with Green tea extract, which include potential cancer-fighting properties and strong antioxidant effects that protect the body from toxic free radicals.
Green Tea Extract is an excellent source of potent, bioflavonoid rich compounds that are high in polyphenols, which are a special class of bioflavonoids. Catechins, and in particular Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), is the most important polyphenol and has the strongest antioxidant action. Research has shown that EGCG is more powerful than vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals.