Protect your brain: Bacopa Monnieri

October 15, 2015

Bacopa monnieri is a perennial herb native of India typically used for relieving acute pain and inflammation, that has attracted considerable western interest owing to its diverse neuropharmacological properties. It has a central role in Ayurveda, a system of traditional Hindu medicine, for ulcers, tumours, ascites, enlarged spleen, indigestion, inflammations, leprosy, and biliousness.

Traditional knowledge have suggested that the plant enhances cognitive performance, and such traditional beliefs have now been scientifically tested through a handful of randomized, controlled human clinical trials, that suggest that bacopa monnieri is a safe novel neuroprotective agent that mediates oxidative stress & neurotoxicity perturbations in due to its apparent involvement on glutamartegic and cholinergic systems.

Bacopa monnieri seems to act via redox and enzyme induction, acetylcholinesterase inhibition and/or choline acetyltransferase activation, β-amyloid reduction, increased cerebral blood flow, and neurotransmitter modulation of acetylcholine, hydroxytryptamine, and dopamine. Thus, in other words, it seems that Bacopa monnieri takes a successful neuromodulatory role in oxidative status.
In addition to healthy elderly, bacopa monnieri has been proved to be beneficial for the prevention of cognitive deficits related to cerebral ischemia & schizophrenia; and it is recommended to treat neonatal hypoglycaemia (a condition that leads to neuronal death due to free radical accumulation). Furthermore, this critical trial, has found standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri 225mg/day to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of ADHD and was well-tolerated by the children, except for social problems. World recall memory scores, strop tests, and depression & anxiety ones were the most representative, accordingly.

Bacopa monnieri appears to exhibit low toxicity in model organisms and humans; however, long-term studies of toxicity in humans have yet to be conducted; so moderation, as almost always with experimental compounds, is urged. As you may know, amount and results do not really follow an identity function in neuropharmacology, thus one should not expect better results with higher doses (we frequently face the opposite). So far, the safe amount clinical trials have been working with, with successful results, is 300 mg/day, without side-effects . Finally, taking Bacopa monnieri at night is recommended, since some users have experienced drowsiness after taking it. This may represent an advantage for the ones with sleeping problems.

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