Already a nutritional superstar for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, garlic may also fight degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
When environmental stress damages the brain, immune cells race to the site and multiply to protect the brain from further harm. Unfortunately, as these immune cells mobilize, they produce nitric oxide a molecule that can benefit some tissues by opening up blood vessels for better flow to muscles but harm others, as excess nitric oxide is thought to contribute to degenerative brain diseases.
Many aged people live with Alzheimer’s Disease, the most serious and common form of dementia, according to theNational Institutes of Health. While the way it develops is still under investigation, current research suggests inflammation and free radicals are major factors, along with brain atrophy (shrinkage) and mitochondrial dysfunction, which causes energy within cells to die out. Scientists are constantly looking for ways to prevent the incurable disease; further studies might just find AGE is one of them.
Garlic, extracted and aged to form antioxidant-rich aged garlic extract (AGE or Kyolic), may help reduce the risk of these diseases. AGE scavenges oxidants, increases superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione levels, and inhibits lipid peroxidation and inflammatory prostaglandins. AGE reduces cholesterol synthesis by inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase and is additive with statins in its action.

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Microglia are immune cells in the brain and spinal cord that are the first and main line of defense in the central nervous system,”saidlead author Zezong Gu, an associate professor of pathology and anatomical sciences at the university’s School of Medicine. “Unlike other mature brain cells that seldom regenerate themselves, microglial cells respond to inflammation and environmental stresses by multiplying. By massing themselves and migrating toward an injury site, they are able to respond to inflammation and protect other brain cells from destruction.”. But microglia also tread a line between benefiting the body and harming it, protecting only to an extent. A byproduct of their function is nitric oxide, a free radical. And when a lot of microglia are produced, so are nitric oxide molecules, which can lead to oxidative stress and inflammation within the brain and nervous system. As we’ve all heard before, however,antioxidants fight oxidative stress, and in this case, that antioxidant compound is FruArg. As a carbohydrate derivative of garlic, there’s a relatively high concentration of FruArg in aged garlic extract (AGE), the authors wrote — AGE is typically sold as supplements. Looking at isolated FruArg’s impact on brain cells, researchers from the University of Missouri found it could protect brain cells from an overexcited immune response caused by environmental factors like pollution and smoking, as well as normal aging, brain injuries, and drinking lots of alcohol

Can you just order linguine with garlic and oil to reap the benefits? Not exactly, “Garlic supplements offer more beneficial properties,” says lead study author Zezong Gu, M.D., Ph.D., who recommends 300-1,000 mg a day of aged garlic extract powder to get the effect.
Source: Zhou H, Qu Z, Mossine V, et al. Proteomic Analysis of the Effects of Aged Garlic Extract and Its FruArg Component on Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Neuroinflammatory Response in Microglial Cells.PLOS One. 2015.
Tags : Benefits of Garlic on the BrainEffects of Garlic on Alzheimer’s Disease and DementiaFruArg in Garlic and Degenerative Brain Disease.

The author Prince

Hi, I’m Prince.. a registered Dietitian, an avid reader and a passionate writer. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them

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