In several recent studies, researchers from Harvard University and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences have determined that a celery seed extract prevents Alzheimer’s disease pathology and significantly improves memory and cognition.
In a series of studies led by Ying Peng, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School and China’s research Institute of Materia Medica, it has been determined that L-3-n-butylphthalide (L-NBP), an extract from celery seed (Apium graveolens Linn) inhibits brain injury and oxidation, while increasing cognition and memory. The research is revealing that the celery seed extract may be a treatment to prevent and possibly reverse Alzheimer’s disease – a growing epidemic among the elderly in western countries.
The laboratory studies have found that the celery seed extract reduces oxidative injury via its ability to decrease tau phosphorylation within brain cells. Tau proteins provide the foundation for microtubule transmissions, which provide the conduits for the instant transfer of information between brain cells. The phosphorylation of the tau proteins slows microtubule transmissions, thereby destabilizing microtubule-MAPT genes.
One study found the extract also reduces amyloid-beta plaque, but the most recent study illustrated its mechanism was related to blocking the tau protein phosphorylation, which may then prevent future amyloid-beta plaque build-up.
Besides this effect, celery seed extract also increases vascular circulation to brain cells, as well as provides antioxidant activity.
Multiple studies have found that mice given the celery seed extract showed significant improvements in spatial learning and decreases in memory deficits.
Whole celery seed has been used for thousands of years in ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of anti-inflammatory ailments such as intestinal cramping, arthritis, kidney issues and others.
Written by Case Adams, PhD
Peng Y, Hu Y, Xu S, Li P, Li J, Lu L, Yang H, Feng N, Wang L, Wang X. L-3-n-butylphthalide Reduces Tau Phosphorylation and Improves Cognitive Deficits in AβPP/PS1-Alzheimer’s Transgenic Mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012 Jan 10.
Peng Y, Hu Y, Xu S, Feng N, Wang L, Wang X. L-3-n-butylphthalide regulates amyloid precursor protein processing by PKC and MAPK pathways in SK-N-SH cells over-expressing wild type human APP695. Neurosci Lett. 2011 Jan 7;487(2):211-6.
Peng Y, Sun J, Hon S, Nylander AN, Xia W, Feng Y, Wang X, Lemere CA. L-3-n-butylphthalide improves cognitive impairment and reduces amyloid-beta in a transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease. J Neurosci. 2010 Jun 16;30(24):8180-9.