Cat's claw may help prevent Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle announced on April 16 that the herb Uncaria tomentosa, also known as cat's claw or una de gato, may be effective against Alzheimer's disease. A compound in the herb, named PTI-00703 by the researchers, prevents the deposit of beta-amyloid plaques in rat brains and in vitro, by interfering with their formation.
Alzheimer's disease, which effects four million Americans alone, is characterized by the gradual depositing in the brain of plaques formed of a protein called beta-amyloid, as well as the presence of neurofibrillary tangles. Although it is not known exactly what beta-amyloid does, autopsied brains of Alzheimer's patients show an abnormal amount of the substance. Alzheimer's is a progressive, incurable disease, resulting in memory loss, dementia and death. Human trials utilizing the above compound on patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease may soon be taking place.
Can DHEA turn back the hands of time?
It's too early to tell, but preliminary results in humans suggest that DHEA may have potent anti-aging effects. Blood levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) decline markedly with advancing age. There is a fourfold decrease in DHEA in the blood from young adulthood to old age.
When 13 men and 17 women, aged 40-70, were given enough DHEA to replace what they had lost while aging, there was a remarkable increase in perceived physical and psychological well-being in both men and women. This study, which was conducted at the University of California School of Medicine in La Jolla, suggests that DHEA Replacement Therapy could help rejuvenate us as we grow older.