Sweeteners have long gotten a bad rap when it comes to brain health. Everything from sugar to saccharine has been linked to the inflammation behind memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
That’s why phyllodulcin is so revolutionary.
Not only is it sweet—a whopping 600 to 800 times sweeter than table sugar—but it’s all-natural and instead of being a memory stealer it’s a memory healer.
Phyllodulcin is a plant extract that’s found in a species of hydrangea native to Korea and Japan. In these countries the leaves are used to make a tea called “tea of heaven” for its deliciously sweet flavor and remarkable health benefits.
Scientists have only recently taken an interest in phyllodulcin, not only as a sugar substitute, but also for its potential to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Supports BDNF & Reduces Neuroinflammation
Amyloid beta brain plaques are often a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and a large group of plant chemicals called polyphenols have been shown to inhibit the clumping of amyloid proteins.
Phyllodulcin is a type of antioxidant polyphenol.
Over eight thousand polyphenols have been identified in plants. These natural compounds, found mostly in fruits and vegetables, are effective in modulating the type of neurodegenerative changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Foods and drinks rich in polyphenols include blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, plums, red and black grapes, spinach, eggplant, green and black tea, and coffee.
Phyllodulcin’s chemical structure led scientists to believe it could bind to amyloid to inhibit its buildup in the brain and stop already existing amyloid proteins. For one thing, it has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier and alleviate the reduction in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) caused by a high-fat diet. BDNF is crucial for memory formation and is lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Phyllodulcin also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
All these properties make phyllodulcin a potential candidate for treating Alzheimer’s disease, but this has never been studied before now. Korean scientists undertook the challenge and made some exciting findings…
Improves Hippocampal Functioning
In their cellular studies they found phyllodulcin did inhibit the aggregation of amyloid and broke up existing amyloid clusters. Moreover, a toxicity assay revealed the lowered concentration of amyloid prevented neurotoxicity in the brain which can cause cognitive dysfunction.
So far so good, but would the same effects be seen in living animals?
To test this, the scientists used normal mice and another type engineered to develop the human form of Alzheimer’s disease. Both types were given either phyllodulcin or a control drug by mouth once every three days for a month.
As a result, the normal mice experienced alleviation in amyloid-induced memory loss, and the engineered mice benefited from:
- A reduction in amyloid clumps
- Improved synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, a key memory area
- Decreased neuroinflammation
- Inhibition of microglia and astrocyte activation (these are the cells responsible for playing a key role in neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease).
“Candidate For The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease”
“These results”, the scientific team wrote in their paper published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy in May, “suggest that phyllodulcin may be a candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Commenting on their findings, Assistant Professor Se Jin Jeon said: “Our study is the first to report that phyllodulcin can modify the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting the possibility of preventing dementia or delaying the progression of the disease.”
However, Professor Jeon cautioned: “It will take more than 20 years to develop a treatment, but at this stage, the results of this study can be used to provide a guide map that can help prevent or improve dementia symptoms.”
I couldn’t agree more…
This is another example of conventional medicine holding up a promising, safe, potentially memory-saving remedy. There’s no reason to wait for a drug or prescription treatment when you can start reaping the benefits of phyllodulcin today.
Hydrangea leaf tea, which is very sweet, is available in some Korean and Japanese stores, or you might find it online. You can also find hydrangea leaf supplements, in the form of tinctures and capsules. While there is a lot of research being performed on phyllodulcin as a sweetener, my team and I haven’t been able to find it for sale as a stand-alone sweetener just yet.
Another option is to increase your intake of dietary polyphenols by eating more fruits and vegetables or taking polyphenol rich supplements. Not only is this good for your memory and the health of your brain, it’s also great for your overall health and longevity. Polyphenols are excellent disease fighters and provide a slew of health benefits from your eyes and skin to your heart and waistline.
The Awakening From Alzheimer’s Team