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Alzheimer’s Sufferers Put “Stalk” in Celery

Celery Study:  Luteolin in Celery, Peppers, Reduces Brain Inflammation  

There are a few staples found in just about every refrigerator.  Milk is one of them.  Eggs are another.  A half-full bottle of ketchup is probably a third.

For the health-conscious consumer, though, celery is as much of a pillar as milk is.  Why?  Well, other than the fact that celery stays relatively fresh for a while and is a great snack – plain or with a dollop of peanut butter – celery actually contains negative calories!  That’s right – the energy the body expends to digest a stalk of celery is more than the celery stick itself!

Now, a diet of eating nothing but celery is not only impractical and unwise, but it probably wouldn’t amount to a whole heck of a lot of weight loss – so celery’s negative calorie content is not the reason why it ought to inhabit our refrigerators.  Perhaps the most practical reason why was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

According to the study, the chemical compounds found in celery (and green peppers) can help reduce brain inflammation.  This kind of finding may have profound implications in the advancement of treatments that can help avert neurological diseases and auto-immune system disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, respectively.

Brain inflammation by itself is not a bad thing.  In fact, brain inflammation plays a key role in the body’s immune system function when we get sick.  But when inflammation gets “out of whack,” if you will, that’s when brain inflammation is a bad thing.

The impact celery’s chemical compounds have on excessive brain inflammation is what researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign looked into.  These compounds, called luteolin – yes, they too are flavonoids – are found in various spices and vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach and thyme.

To study luteolin’s impact, researchers performed two experiments.  In the first experiment, they took microglia cells from rats and exposed them to harmful bacteria cells; microglia cells release the molecules in the brain that trigger brain inflammation when under stress.  They then exposed these cells to the luteolin compounds.  When they were exposed to the luteolin compounds, the excessive inflammation observed was reduced.

The second experiment involved injections and spiking.  First, researchers spiked rats’ drinking water with luteolin and had them drink this water for a three-week period.  Near to the conclusion of the study, they injected the rats with a bacterium that causes inflammation in the brain.  Amazingly, four hours after injecting the rats with the bacterium, inflammation had reduced in the brain, particularly in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that’s primarily affected by Alzheimer’s.  The researchers attribute this reduction to the luteolin-spiked water.

More research needs to be done, but this kind of finding is a truly exciting one for all of us with loved ones that are, or have been, afflicted with this terrible disease.  Scientists believe approximately four and a half to five million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s, with no signs of dire diagnoses slowing down.  Thanks to these and other natural health findings, though, Alzheimer’s disease could become a thing of the past.  And it may all start with a stalk of celery.

Related Posts

  1. Can Flavonoids Treat Alzheimer’s disease?
  


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