Flavonoids

A Flavonoid Improves Neurocognitive Function and Mood in Seniors

A highly bioavailable curcumin extract improves neurocognitive function and mood in healthy older people- A 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

In Summary

A recent study has revealed the neurocognitive benefits of curcumin, a flavonoid isolated from turmeric. Curcumin extract was given to a cohort of healthy, aged individuals over a 12-week period. At the end of that period improved working memory, as well as reduced fatigue and stress reactivity,  were all recorded effects. A preceding study recorded similar effects from curcumin extract that were seen at 4 weeks, suggesting that the supplement works quickly and maintains effectiveness. The extract, also known as LongvidaTM, improves overall hippocampal function and may prevent cognitive decline in aging individuals. 

The desire to prevent neurocognitive decline is evergrowing as individuals continue to be plagued by diagnoses of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and numerous other neurocognitive diseases associated with aging. Compounds found in cannabis plants, various cannabinoids, flavonoids similar to curcumin, and terpenes, have been found to have neuroprotective effects. If preventative measures can be found to delay or completely eradicate neurodegenerative diseases it would lessen the economic burden posed by such patients, ease the lives of caretakers, and allow patients for freedom and a better quality of life. Further research should continue to focus on this line of work. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDA Flavonoid Improves Neurocognitive Function and Mood in Seniors
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Flavonoids Help Post-Workout Recovery in Endurance Athletes

Mixed Flavonoid Supplementation Attenuates Post-Exercise Plasma Levels of Protein Carbonyls and 4-Hydroxynonenal Protein Adducts Levels in Endurance Athletes (P23-009-19)

In Summary

Researchers have recently exposed the benefits of flavonoid supplements in endurance athletes. The mixed flavonoid supplement included quercetin, a flavonoid found in cannabis plants, and was able to mitigate the oxidative stress that occurs post-exercise in endurance athletes. The other flavonoids harnessed from green tea and bilberry extracts were also included in the antioxidant supplement whose combined efforts were able to minimize the damaging effects of oxidation. The development of these all-natural supplements may provide a beneficial way for athletes to recover from intense workouts while complying with regulations set by sports associations. 

Novel recovery techniques like the one featured in this paper are important for recovering athletes trying to navigate harsh regulations set by overarching organizations. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been praised and is well known for its therapeutic techniques, yet many athletes fear to utilize CBD during recovery from an injury or intense workout because it lays in a moral grey area for most athletic organizations. For example, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a banned substance according to the NCAA and although CBD is not the NCAA still warns against its use due to the possibility of THC contamination. Athletes should be mindful to check with their organization for cannabis rules and ensure the products they use during recovery, such as CBD, come from a trusted source.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDFlavonoids Help Post-Workout Recovery in Endurance Athletes
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Prenatal Exposure to Flavonoid Baicalein Shows Conflicting Results

Baicalein, a flavonoid causes prolonged estrus and suppressed fertility output upon prenatal exposure in female mice

In Summary

 Flavonoids are found in large quantities in flax seeds and plants including cannabis. There is conflicting evidence as to the effects of prenatal exposure to excessive quantities of flavonoids. The flavonoid baicalein has been used in Asian countries as herbal medicine to treat conditions including memory disorders, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and Parkinson’s disease. However, in excessive quantities, flavonoids have been shown to disrupt hormone production and function. Researchers interested in the effects of prenatal exposure to the baicalein administered the flavonoid to pregnant rats and observed effects on mothers and offspring. No signs of toxicity were observed. Exposed offspring weighed significantly less than control offspring, however, exposed female offspring also saw enhanced fertility .

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Benjamin Caplan, MDPrenatal Exposure to Flavonoid Baicalein Shows Conflicting Results
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High Flavonoid Content of Dry Birch Leaves Makes for High Antioxidant Potential

Antioxidant Activity of Dry Birch (Betula Pendula) Leaves Extract

In Summary

Plants with high flavonoid content, including but not limited to cannabis, tend to exhibit vast health benefits, including but not limited to anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial applications.

The medicinal use of Betula Pendula, or dry birch leaves dates back as far as Ancient Greece. Birch leaf extracts exhibit anticancer, antifungal, diuretic, antimicrobial, antiflammatory properties, and more. In order to determine the antioxidant capabilities of birch leaf extract, researchers determined flavonoid content in leaves and administered extracts to rats and subsequently analyzed the antioxidant potential of the rats’ plasma. The leaves had a total flavonoid content of 42.5 milligrams per gram and short-term application of extract to rats resulted in enhanced antioxidant potential in their plasma. Chronic application was not as effective as short-term application. Overall, the high flavonoid content of dry birch leaves allows for high antioxidant potential, as well as a range of other health benefits.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDHigh Flavonoid Content of Dry Birch Leaves Makes for High Antioxidant Potential
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Flavonoids Improve Lipid and Glucose Metabolism in Dyslipidemic Overweight Subjects

Three‐arm, placebo‐controlled, randomized clinical trial evaluating the metabolic effect of a combined nutraceutical containing a bergamot standardized flavonoid extract in dyslipidemic overweight subjects

In Summary

A recent study has revealed the therapeutic benefits of flavonoids from bergamot fruits improve lipid and glucose metabolism in dyslipidemic overweight subjects. Dyslipidemic individuals have elevated levels of cholesterol and fats in their blood which increases their risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack. The flavonoids present in bergamot extracts lowered total cholesterol, systemic inflammation, and a myriad of other chemicals that pose health risks, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). This study provides evidence that the flavonoids present in bergamot extracts may benefit those suffering from high cholesterol by lowering their risk of stroke and heart attack.  

This article highlights the potential health benefits of flavonoids. Flavonoids are commonly found among cannabis plants and various other crops that are already produced at a commercial level. Flavonoids are extremely understudied when considering their known therapeutic potential as well as how cost efficient producing flavonoid-containing supplements would be. Extracts and diets containing elevated levels of flavonoids would be a simple and effective method of providing a myriad of health benefits into users everyday lives, which warrants further research and development. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDFlavonoids Improve Lipid and Glucose Metabolism in Dyslipidemic Overweight Subjects
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Flavonoid-Like Compound, Resveratrol, Treats Non-Alcohol Liver Disease

Resveratrol attenuates high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis by maintaining gut barrier integrity and inhibiting gut inflammation through regulation of the endocannabinoid system

In Summary

A recent study has discovered that resveratrol treats high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) by modulating the endocannabinoid system. Resveratrol is a flavonoid-like compound found in grapes and berries that acts as an antagonist on cannabinoid receptors. Due to its antagonistic effect on the endocannabinoid system the compound has similar anti-inflammatory properties to cannabidiol and reduces inflammation associated with NASH, as well as maintaining gut barrier integrity. Further research should conclude the efficacy of this treatment. 

Highlighted in this study is the possible therapeutic benefits of polyphenols, such as flavonoids, due to their antioxidant and protective properties. Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid polyphenol found in common fruits, but fruits and other common crops already harvested in the United States are full of polyphenols that have therapeutic benefits. Cannabis plants are full of flavonoids that have been featured in recent literature as novel drug therapies but polyphenols found in a myriad of crops are still undervalued in western medicine and warrant further investigation. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDFlavonoid-Like Compound, Resveratrol, Treats Non-Alcohol Liver Disease
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Atriplex Tatarica Flavonoids Show Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Biofilm Activity

 Investigation into the flavonoid derivatives of Atriplex tatarica shows that it provides anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm potential against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

P. aeruginosa is a bacterium that causes infections most frequently in immunocompromised individuals who have been hospitalized for long periods of time. A biofilm is a protective shield that some types of bacteria create for themselves in attempt to protect against host immune system defenses. An infection that evades an immune system can become quickly dangerous should bacterial or biofilm grow in the lungs, kidney, or urinary tracts. Incorporating the flavonoids found in A. tatarica into medical regimen could provide an option for augmenting current treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections. The growth of biofilms, or collections of microorganisms that can grow on a wide variety of surfaces, makes the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in hospitalized patients with antibiotics markedly more difficult. Certain flavonoids with proven anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm provide an alternative route for helping to manage deadly antibiotic-resistant infections.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDAtriplex Tatarica Flavonoids Show Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Biofilm Activity
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The Relationship of Flavonoid Intake During Pregnancy With Excess Body Weight and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

 Consuming Food Rich in Flavonoids Can Reduce Excess Body Weight During Pregnancy

In Summary

A recent study has found that women who consume food rich in flavonoids during pregnancy (found in fruits, vegetation, and also in cannabis, tend to have less excess body weight. European studies have also reported that flavonoid-rich diets during pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) but their studies recorded women consuming even higher amounts of flavonoids that the women in the American study. A meta-analysis of American and European studies confirms that pregnant women who maintain a flavonoid-rich diet have an easier time managing the excess weight associated with pregnancy. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Relationship of Flavonoid Intake During Pregnancy With Excess Body Weight and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
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The Dietary Flavonoid, Luteolin, Negatively Affects Neuronal Differentiation

In Summary:

The Importance of Chemical Structure: Functional Groups of Flavonoids

A recent study has revealed the detrimental effects of the flavonoid luteolin on neuronal differentiation in embryonic stem cells. Luteolin is a dietary flavonoid that has been researched due to its anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory actions and is now being looked into for its supposed neuroprotective qualities. This study found that although luteolin does have some neuroprotective benefits it also has harmful side effects on neuronal development.  Apigenin is a similar flavonoid that also has neuroprotective qualities but does not disrupt differentiation, emphasizing how slight differences in chemical structure can change the effects of a flavonoid. 



image of The Dietary Flavonoid, Luteolin, Negatively Affecting Neuronal Differentiation
images of Luteolin Negatively Affecting Neuronal Differentiation

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Dietary Flavonoid, Luteolin, Negatively Affects Neuronal Differentiation
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A Flavonol from Sweetscented Marigold Alleviates Pain

Tagetes Lucida as a potential analgesic

In Summary:

Researchers have recently provided evidence that a flavonol extract derived from a common flower has antinociceptive (pain-relieving) properties. Sweet-scented Marigold has been used is frequently used in cooking techniques in South America and has now been found to alleviate pain through serotonin and opioid mechanisms of action. The antinociceptive properties of this flavonol, like those of many other plant-derived compounds, are ripe for testing in a clinical setting to determine their effectiveness in human patients. In this small animal study, it clearly demonstrates promise as a safe alternative to commonly used pain medications. 

Dr. Caplan and the #MDTake:

Modern medicine seems to have largely forgotten its roots. Long before pharmaceutical companies were the source of all medication, the earth served as a resource for medications, and apothecaries, pharmacists, and druggists, as they were known, supported the medical industry with formulations and a deep understanding of natural resources. As the greater scientific arena and dominant culture have lost touch with the earth’s natural medicinal resources, our culture has lost a deeply valuable reservoir of opportunity. As the fast-paced life of modernity demands faster results on an ever-greater, mass-production scale, the construction of sprawling cities, which often demands deforestation and destruction of natural resources, may turn out to be a greater threat to human health than most of us have yet to even understand.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDA Flavonol from Sweetscented Marigold Alleviates Pain
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