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Scientists have created a new molecule from curcumin, the key chemical component of the spice turmeric. In laboratory experiments, the molecule was shown to affect the mechanisms that protect and regenerate brain cells after a stroke.
The new curcumin compound, called CNB-001, actually repairs stroke damage at the molecular level.
“Those who cook Indian, Thai, Malay and Persian dishes know turmeric well for its zesty flavor, use in curries and for the rich color it imparts to food. Turmeric also has a long history of use in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine.”
Curcumin — the pigment that gives the curry spice turmeric its yellow-orange color — is a natural compound that should be on your health radar for a number of reasons. Both the ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine have recognized curcumin’s beneficial properties for thousands of years, and modern research suggests it may be one of nature’s most powerful potential healers.
As you’ll see, its health benefits are far-reaching and are now entering the arena of emergency medicine.
In this article I will also review several natural strategies for preventing stroke, as there are other lifestyle and dietary factors that play a massive role. You really don’t want to wait until a stroke happens, regardless of how effectively drugs might help to keep you alive.
So What is a Stroke?
Strokes are sometimes referred to as “brain attacks” (instead of “heart attacks”) because they occur when a blood clot blocks an artery or blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to your brain. As a result, brain cells die and brain damage can occur.
Strokes can be particularly devastating because they often occur without warning, and the longer your brain goes without oxygen, the greater your risk of lasting damage. This is one area where emergency medicine excels, as emergency medications can dissolve the clot that is blocking blood flow to your brain. In order to be effective, however, you typically need to get help within one hour.
So if you notice any of these signs of stroke, you should get help right away:
- Sudden trouble walking (dizziness, loss of balance, etc.)
- Sudden confusion
- Sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of your body only)
- Sudden trouble seeing
- Sudden severe headache
Curcumin Drug May Help Regenerate Brain Cells after Stroke
Contrary to the clot-busting drug currently used on stroke victims, the curcumin-hybrid compound, called CNB-001, does not actually dissolve the blood clot. Rather it repairs the damage incurred by the lack of oxygen, at the molecular level, by influencing the mechanism responsible for regeneration of neurons (brain cells).
This offers future stroke victims new hope for greater recovery, as it may reduce lasting damage. The research was presented at the American Heart Association International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles on February 9.
Now, although curcumin itself has been found to have great healing potential, including in the treatment of brain injury, it has drawbacks that makes it unsuitable for emergency treatment of stroke.
“[Curcumin] is not well absorbed in the body, fails to reach its target in high concentrations, becomes depleted quickly, and is blocked from entering the brain by a natural protective mechanism called the blood-brain barrier.”
The curcumin-derived compound CNB-001, however, does cross the blood brain barrier and “moderates several critical mechanisms involved in neuronal survival,” according to lead researcher Dr. Lapchak, PhD.
What this means is that if you’re having signs of stroke, do not reach for the spice jar or a turmeric supplement. Seek immediate emergency medical attention! Turmeric cannot be used as a make-shift home-remedy for a stroke. I just want to make that perfectly clear.
The hybrid spice-drug compound may however help save lives in an emergency setting later on. According to Physorg’s report:
“The drug reduced stroke-caused “motor deficits”—problems of muscle and movement control—in this laboratory study. It was effective when administered up to an hour after stroke, which correlates with about three hours in humans, the same time frame for which tPA is currently approved.”
There’s a time and place for conventional medicine, and stroke is one of those times when a drug can save your life. That said, considering how devastating (not to mention life threatening) a stroke can be, it would be in your best interest to adjust your lifestyle to prevent it from ever happening in the first place.
This Common Vitamin Deficiency DOUBLES Your Risk of Stroke!
What vitamin could this possibly be?
If you guessed vitamin D, you’re absolutely correct. This was the impressive finding of a study presented on November 15 last year at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago.
It adds weight to research released earlier last year, which found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with arterial stiffness; a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. A separate study from Finland also found that those with the lowest vitamin D levels had a 25 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, and when only stroke was evaluated, those with the lowest levels had twice the risk as those with the highest vitamin D levels.
In the past couple of years, research into the health benefits of vitamin D and the serious ramifications of deficiency has exploded. The evidence that vitamin D is a key player in your health is just overwhelming.
For example, optimizing your vitamin D levels can also slash your risk of diabetes and cancer in half! And that’s still just the tip of the iceberg.
What other drug or nutrient do you know of that can cut your risk of three of the most dangerous chronic diseases by 50 percent?!
It’s abundantly clear that if you want optimal health, you need to pay attention to your vitamin D levels. Ideally, you’ll want to increase your levels through safe sunshine exposure year-round. Not only is this the way you were designed to produce vitamin D naturally, but it also eliminates the risk of overdosing. You can also use a safe tanning bed if you can’t get sufficient amounts of sun exposure outdoors.
If neither of those options are available to you, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement, but be sure to get your vitamin D levels tested regularly to make sure you’re staying within therapeutic limits, as you’re circumventing your body’s built-in regulatory mechanism.
For more information about safe sun exposure, testing, and dosages, please see my vitamin D page. I also recommend viewing my one-hour video lecture on vitamin D to get a deeper understanding of its vital importance to your health.
Other Stroke Prevention Strategies
Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, according to the National Stroke Association, so I strongly encourage you to take control of your health to reduce your risk. Conventionally speaking, many of the same risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease also increase your risk of stroke, such as:
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides and elevated homocysteine levels
- Low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol
A drug derived from the popular spice turmeric could be used to treat stroke patients, researchers said today.
A compound found in turmeric, a staple ingredient in curries, has been found to help protect and regenerate brain cells after a stroke.
Scientists created a new molecule from curcumin, the crucial chemical in the spice, and used it in laboratory experiments, though it is yet to be tested on humans. They found it could repair damage at a molecular level and is linked to the survival of the brain cells’ neurons