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Turmeric Compound May Boost Brain’s Ability to Heal (And No, It’s Not Curcumin)

A new animal study has found that aromatic-turmerone, a bioactive compound in turmeric, causes neural stem cells (NSCs) in rats to proliferate. There is evidence that the activation of NSCs in humans may help adult human brains recover from strokes and neurodegeneration. Published in the journal, Stem Cell Research and Therapy, the study investigated the effects of aromatic-turmerone on NSCs in test tubes (i.e. NSC cultures), and NSCs in vivo (i.e. NSCs in live rats).

  • When researchers bathed NSC cultures in aromatic-turmerone, NSC proliferation increased by up to 80%.
  • After injecting live rats with aromatic-turmerone, the researchers discovered that the width of the subventricular zone in the brain expanded by 45%, indicating NSC proliferation.

More research is still needed to confirm whether these positive results would translate to humans, but the research adds to a growing body of evidence on turmeric’s brain-boosting effects. For example, studies have found that another bioactive component of turmeric, curcumin, possesses both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

Source: Stem Cell Research and Therapy

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