Quercetin and the Brain By Mrs Vera West
After reading this article by Dr Mercola about how quercetin can stimulate new brain growth, I rushed down to the health food shop, as fast as my walking frame could carry me, and bought some for $ 39.99. Fingers crossed.
“In a collaboration between researchers1 from the University of Queensland and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, scientists discovered quercetin has proneurogenic effects in the hippocampus of the brain.
The hippocampus is located within the temporal lobe and is part of the limbic system. This is a part of the brain where behavioral and emotional responses are generated. These responses are central to survival and include reproduction, caring for babies, feeding and the fight-or-flight response. Other parts of the limbic system include the thalamus, hypothalamus, basal ganglia and amygdala.
The hippocampus is a well-studied part of the brain, which takes its name from the shape that resembles a seahorse. This area plays a crucial role in memory consolidation, coding and learning. Another of its major functions is forming a cognitive map, which is related to your ability to acquire new knowledge, store it and recall it.
Your behavior is dependent on your ability to acquire new knowledge and represent the information accurately. Damage to this area can produce maladaptive behaviors. "Evidence supports the role the hippocampus plays in decision-making as it relates to memory deficits that result from an Alzheimer's type of dementia."
According to the Alzheimer's Association, the number of people living in the U.S. who have Alzheimer's disease is growing. There were an estimated 5.8 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2020. Nearly two-thirds are women. Experts estimate that as the population of people over 65 continues to grow, the number with Alzheimer's will also rapidly increase.
By 2050, it is projected 13.8 million will have Alzheimer's disease. This new data offer more information about caring for the health of your memory and learning centers that are often hardest hit by Alzheimer’s disease. As I discuss below, there are also other strategies you can use to protect your brain health.
Quercetin Stimulates Proneurogenic Activity
The research design of the featured study in Stem Cell Reports was built on past studies that have demonstrated the benefits of phytochemicals found in plant foods. As the researchers wrote, one of the interesting processes is the brain's plasticity, which is necessary for structural and functional modifications to happen when exposed to internal and external stimuli.
The researchers said they chose apples as they are widely consumed across the globe resulting in a generalized exposure. The study began with an in vitro examination of quercetin, which is an abundant flavonoid found in apple peel.
The second half of the study was an in vivo study using an animal model. After their data analysis, the researchers ultimately found that apples contained compounds in the peel and the flesh that helped promote neurogenesis.
Quercetin from the peel and another active compound from the apple flesh, 3,5-Dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA), demonstrated the ability to increase precursor cell proliferation and neurogenesis.
The researchers measured the effect on neural precursor cells, which are stem cells that can generate neural cell types within the brain. They found the effect was like that reported in past studies for other compounds such as resveratrol and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is found in green tea.
During the lab portion of the study, the researchers found that stem cells generated from a mouse brain were protected and exhibited more neurogenesis when quercetin and DHBA were added to the cell cultures. During the animal study, they found structures in the brain that were associated with learning and memory had more neurons when the mice were given doses of quercetin or DHBA.”
If it worked for mice, can it work for me with my declining brain?