Many are unaware that this spice present in our kitchens is a great ally against Alzheimer’s

Many are unaware that this spice present in our kitchens is a great ally against Alzheimer’s
Many are unaware that this spice present in our kitchens is a great ally against Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. It is characterized by neural death (neurodegeneration) and memory and learning decline, caused by the accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and the formation of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. On various occasions we have had the opportunity to address the topic related to Alzheimer’s. We have seen that taking specific vitamins or omega-3s can somehow prevent or slow down the disease.

A plethora of studies are showing that the nutrients present in what we eat play a decisive role in influencing the course of dementia. For example, many are unaware that this spice present in our kitchens is a great ally against Alzheimer’s.

Royal scent

The Latin translation of “royal perfume” is Ocimum Basilicum. The Ocimum Basilicum is none other than the basil that we use daily in our dishes for its intense aroma. According to Pliny it is a magical plant which, however, can lose its effects if it is touched or cut with iron. Instead, it must be grasped to keep its magical properties unaltered, with the left hand and the crescent moon. Furthermore, Pliny argues, it is a remedy against the stings of earth scorpions.

To be less poetic and more pragmatic, basil contains a huge amount of compounds that are used in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries and which give it antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Among these compounds we mention fenchol, also present in other plants, but abundant in basil which, as we will see, could be precious for our brain.

Many are unaware that this spice present in our kitchens is a great ally against Alzheimer’s

In a newly published article (Razazan A et al, 2021) the researchers found that the fenchol present in basil appears to reduce the neurotoxicity characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the past we had already stressed that the intestine acts as a second brain within our body. The bacteria in our gut that make up the microbiome produce metabolites called short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) which contribute to brain health. The study started from the observation that the amounts of SCFA present in the brain decrease with the progress of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers found that SCFAs may be useful in protecting neurons from the neurotoxic action of Aβ associated with Alzheimer’s. Starting from this discovery, they looked for a natural compound (among about 144,000) capable of mimicking the action of SCFAs.

Fenchol, the compound that gives basil the characteristic aromatic smell, was found to be the best alternative to SCFA. Fenchol is able to reduce the toxicity of non-functioning beta amyloid and act on some cells that are harmful to the brain.

More research is needed that can confirm the role of fenchol present in basil and understand the fine mechanisms by which it acts. If necessary, the effects obtained with basil should be compared with the effects obtained, for example, from the purified Fenchol compound in tablet form. Once again, we see science advancing in small, exciting and hopeful steps.

(The information in this article is for information purposes only and does not in any way substitute for medical advice and / or the opinion of a specialist. Furthermore, it does not constitute an element for formulating a diagnosis or for prescribing a treatment. For this reason it is recommended, in any case, to always seek the advice of a doctor or a specialist and to read the warnings given. WHO”)

PREV There is a very important message that our heart would send us to make us understand that we risk a heart attack
NEXT Here’s how to understand if we suffer from compulsive shopping problems and what to do to get out of it