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#1 brendan1

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 03:02 AM


Broad-Spectrum Protection Against Brain Aging

By Arlan Myerson

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Your brain is under assault from environmental toxins, oxidant stress, inflammation, blood flow fluctuations, and excess glucose.1,2 Collectively, these factors contribute to a state of neurotoxicity that accelerates brain aging resulting in neurodegenerative decline, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.1-4
Currently there are no medical options to halt this steady march toward mental darkness. Pharmaceutical intervention is largely palliative and cannot cure or restore lost brain function.
For thousands of years, Chinese doctors have used gastrodin, extracted from the root of the exotic orchid, Gastrodia elata, to treat a range of cognitive problems ranging from vertigo and headaches to paralysis and seizures.5-8
What scientists today are discovering is that gastrodin acts as a broad-spectrum “brain shield” that protects against various factors that cause age-related degradation of our mental processes.
The wide ranging brain benefits of gastrodin were long ago identified.
What has researchers excited are new findings showing that gastrodin has regenerative properties that include rebalancing neurotransmitters, improving blood flow, decreasing memory loss, protecting brain functions during a stroke, and potentially reducing risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons.9-13 In short, gastrodin provides unparalleled, multi-factorial brain protection in both extreme and everyday conditions.
Impressive human studies using gastrodin in hospital settings confirm its benefit in shielding the brain against neurological insults, including protecting the brain against memory loss that can occur when one undergoes open heart surgery!14 In the discussion that follows, we highlight leading research showing how gastrodin protects against factors that conspire to deteriorate our brain.
Neuroregeneration – Once Thought to be Impossible

Not so long ago, most scientists thought that adult brain tissue had no hope of regenerating itself. The loss of brain cells and brain function was considered irreversible. According to neurologists, once your brain had finished growing, the ongoing loss of brain cells was just a natural part of aging.15
But molecular science is revealing startling discoveries about the brain’s ability to heal itself. What scientists have now found is that the brain can regenerate the neurons involved in brain remodeling (plasticity). Plasticity is the process by which brain cells reorganize and restructure their connections to form new memories and facilitate learning.16
Scientists in China and Singapore have made remarkable findings about how a natural orchid extract called gastrodin stimulates these neuro-regenerative processes. Extracts from the Gastrodia orchid have been shown to have a beneficial influence on up to nearly 20% of the genes that control the brain’s plasticity and regrowth. In the studies, gastrodin was shown to mobilize and activate specific aspects of the brain’s regenerative activities.9,10
Instead of succumbing to progressive brain shrinkage with constriction of one’s thoughts, feelings, and memories, brain cells have built-in natural, self-healing systems. Gastrodin can turn on and activate these regenerative mechanisms. This may turn out to be one of the most powerful methods ever discovered for preventing loss of brain function at any age.
Brain Blood Flow

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A major cause of brain aging and many of the problems that go along with it is a reduction in blood flow to the brain. The result is that the brain becomes starved for oxygen and fuel, producing a low-grade “suffocation.”17 This reduction in brain blood flow is progressive over the course of an individual’s lifespan.18 Reduced blood flow has been proven to be a direct cause of poor cognition and memory.17 Gastrodin has repeatedly shown that it beneficially increases brain blood flow both in laboratory animals and human patients.12,19,20
In rats with experimentally-induced massive strokes, a gastrodin-based traditional preparation greatly improved blood flow when given 30 minutes after the stroke. Even at a relatively low dose, brain blood flow was restored to normal with the gastrodin-based formula.19
Human studies are just as dramatic. In a study involving 202 patients, a gastrodin-based formula improved brain blood flow in 96% of the patients following stroke and other brain injuries.12 In another study of patients with impaired circulation to the rear portions of their brains (where balance, vision, and coordination are processed), 95% of patients given gastrodin plus betahistine (a prescription medication) showed improved blood flow, while only 70% of betahistine control patients showing improvement.20
Brain blood flow is also reduced by elevated blood sugar.21 The result is often memory impairment and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Gastrodin, in a recent lab study, improved insulin sensitivity, ridding the blood of excess glucose and reducing body fat.22

What You Need to Know

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The Neuroregenerative and Neuroprotective Power of Gastrodin
  • Gastrodin can unlock your brain’s own self-healing, regenerative powers.
  • Gastrodin fights the main mechanisms of brain aging that are common to simple age-related memory loss, to gradual-onset disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, and even to rapid-onset conditions like strokes, head trauma, and open-heart surgery “pumphead syndrome.”
  • Laboratory studies reveal how gastrodin re-balances disordered brain chemicals that produce too much cellular excitation and too little of the opposing calming, inhibitory effects you need to keep your brain functioning normally.
  • The combination of gastrodin’s neuro-regenerative and neuro-protective properties are opening new vistas in prevention of everything from “where-did-I-put-my-keys” memory deficits, to major neurodegenerative disorders, to destructive strokes.
  • Even such apparently unrelated conditions like seizures, tics, migraines, and diabetic neuropathy are yielding to gastrodin’s healing powers.

Improved GABA Levels

While “burnout” is a popular phrase to illustrate extreme fatigue, it is a very real condition that occurs in your brain from too much stimulation . Given the multi-tasking pace of our lives, combined with the incessant information overload, most of us are suffering from an imbalance of our neurotransmitters.
Your brain is constantly working to maintain a balance between the cells that create electrical activity, and those that reduce or calm brain activity.
Brain cells modulate different neurotransmitters to excite or calm the brain. When the brain is resting or calm, it uses a neurotransmitter called GABA.23
Heightened brain stimulation, with its increased cellular activity, puts an enormous strain on brain tissue, whereas inhibition tends to promote rest, regeneration, and healing.
This delicate balance of neurotransmitters is of tremendous importance to healthy brain function. Too much excitatory input, or too little inhibitory input, disturbs the balance, overstresses the brain, and leads to a “burn out” of brain cells.
Scientists commonly find an extreme neurotransmitter imbalance in people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, in seizures, in stroke and head trauma victims, in diabetics (especially those with painful diabetic neuropathy), in people undergoing surgical anesthesia, and even in “normal” aging.24-28
Gastrodin helps restore the vital balance of neurotransmitters. Studies show that gastrodin increases levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA by as much as 34%, which exerts a calming effect on the brain and counteracts the overactive brain activity.11,29,30
Pharmaceutical companies are spending huge sums on research and development of drugs to control neurotransmitter imbalance. However, their approach has been not to create balance but to simply suppress excitation. Their only drug offering, Namenda® (memantine), has had little impact on neurodegenerative diseases, and no effect on the heightened brain activity seen following low blood-flow conditions such as surgery and anesthesia.31-33
Memory Loss

One of the greatest fears of getting older is the threat of memory loss. Not recognizing your loved ones or even remembering your name is a devastating condition. Studies show that gastrodin can help counteract many of the key processes that lead to memory loss.
When rats are subjected to toxic drugs that impair memory, they become confused and take longer to find their way through familiar mazes, or to rescue themselves from danger. The stress of dangerous situations also freezes up memory, just as it does in humans.
Gastrodin reverses those impairments, helping the bewildered animals consolidate and retrieve memories they’d already stored away.34 In rats exposed to aluminum, which is thought to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, similar improvements in memory preservation were obtained even without a reduction in brain aluminum levels.35
Reducing the Cognitive Risks of Open Heart Surgery

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Perhaps the most dramatic demonstration of gastrodin’s ability to prevent brain aging caused by circulatory deficit comes from a recent human study done under the extreme stress of open heart surgery. During this operation, the patients’ hearts are stopped while they are kept alive only by use of the heart-lung machine. In this procedure, blood flow to the brain is reduced as fat globules introduced by the surgical trauma causes cerebral capillary beds to occlude. Up to 55% of patients may suffer memory loss and cognitive impairments after bypass surgery that can last for weeks, months, or forever following surgery.36,37 Surgeons refer to these cognitive deficits resulting from open heart surgery as “pumphead syndrome.”37
The symptoms involved in pumphead syndrome resemble accelerated brain aging, complete with circulatory deficit, inflammatory changes, and increases in abnormal proteins such as those seen in neurodegenerative diseases.38 The only difference is that, instead of slowly occurring over many years, these cognitive changes occur within the single hour of open heart surgery.38,39
In a human clinical trial, intensive care specialists in China injected gastrodin or a saline control solution in 200 patients undergoing open-heart surgery.
Prior to surgery, all of the patients tested normal on memory and cognition. After the operation they found that 42% of patients had cognitive decline, which included substantial memory loss.14
The outcome in the gastrodin treated group of patients was very different. Only 9% had any change at all from baseline. Even three months after surgery, 31% of the patients who did not receive gastrodin continued to have memory difficulties. Yet only 6% of the gastrodin group had residual memory problems.14
This study showed that even under the extreme conditions of open heart surgery gastrodin prevented rapid brain aging produced by intensive brain stress, including catastrophic loss of memory. This is the most compelling evidence yet of the clinical impact of gastrodin’s multiple brain-protecting and brain-healing effects.
Neurodegenerative Diseases

The World Health Organization estimates that neurological disease affects over a billion people worldwide and the trend is expected to continue. The WHO report states that, “The neurological burden is expected to become an even more serious and unmanageable threat to public health.”40
Yet despite this global escalating increase in neuro-degenerative diseases, mainstream medicine is not providing much help in treating or solving this condition. Even the drugs that are currently on the market treat only symptoms rather than curing the cause of these disorders.41 Unlike prescription medication, gastrodin has strong evidence for its effectiveness in shielding the brain from destruction during the long slide into cognitive decline and dementia.
In laboratory experiments that simulate Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, gastrodin protects the cells in the brain centers that are most vital for learning and memory.6,42-44 These are the areas that quickly degenerate under the threat of Alzheimer’s disease. With gastrodin, the result is a beneficial increase in cell survival and a decrease in cell death.
Also helpful in fighting the onset of Alzheimer’s, gastrodin switches on the enzymes that break down and clear away toxic Abeta proteins, which kill brain cells and steal memories in Alzheimer’s disease. Gastrodin’s housecleaning ability to eliminate toxic Abeta proteins may be one of the great prevention advances regarding Alzheimer’s disease.8
Gastrodin has been shown to reduce general brain inflammation, a major contributor to neurodegeneration.45 Animals supplemented with gastrodin have improved learning and memory compared with their peers receiving no therapy.8 In the laboratory, gastrodin was proven to shift brain biochemistry away from producing the toxic Abeta proteins associated with Alzheimers, and towards a healthier, normal protein.8

Life Extension Magazine Winter Edition 2013-2014
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Broad-Spectrum Protection Against Brain Aging

By Arlan Myerson

Brain Regeneration

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One of the most important genes influenced by gastrodin is the gene that produces neuronal cell adhesion molecules.9 These molecules are essential to the process by which brain cells find their way to link up with others as synapses. One result of this activity is that new memories can form rather than be erased or forgotten.63 Gastrodin also increases the activator protein-1, a regulator of new protein formation which results in new neuron growth and improved memory.64

In addition, gastrodin switches on the “misfolded protein response,” a self-healing mechanism that recognizes and destroys the abnormal proteins involved in brain cell death in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases.65,66


Just as in patients being hooked up to the heart-lung machine during surgery, strokes involve rapid and catastrophic disruption of brain blood flow, an excess of excitatory brain activity, activation of destructive enzymes, and accumulation of inflammatory cytokines.46 Stroke-inflicted brain damage happens in an extremely short period of time and can provide important insights into brain aging.
Gastrodin’s unique ability to balance excitatory-to-inhibitory neurotransmitter levels makes it therapeutically valuable in strokes. Rats treated with gastrodin after an experimentally-induced stroke had an increase of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA by up to 34% as well as increases in the protective amino acid taurine by up to 14%.11,47
As a result, the animals given gastrodin had significantly smaller areas of brain damage and swelling; they also performed better on tests of memory and behavioral performance, compared with animals that had strokes but were not supplemented.48-50
Similarly, when brain cells in culture were exposed to low oxygen levels (similar to a stroke), they exhibited sharp rises in excitatory neurotransmitters. Pre-treatment with gastrodin prevented that rise, and the subsequent microscopic evidence of neurotoxicity.51
Gastrodin’s ability to promote neuroregeneration is especially important when a stroke happens. Once metabolized in the body, gastrodin boosts production of an enzyme that restores normal structure to brain proteins damaged during stroke.13 Experimental-induced strokes in animals given gastrodin were up to 55% smaller than in untreated animals.13 And pretreatment with gastrodin reduced the rate of cell death by apoptosis following stroke.52
Human studies have been performed in China using gastrodin in treatment of strokes, with great success. Given as an intravenous drug, gastrodin was effective in treating 97% of subjects with ischemic stroke (insufficient blood flow), compared with 74% who received conventional injections.53 And, in hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the brain), gastrodin improved absorption of blood and swelling in 89% of treated subjects, compared with 72% who received conventional medications.54

Gastrodin has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to prevent and treat seizures with impressive results. As a result, Western medicine is now seeking to exploit it as a source of antiepileptic drugs.55,56 Following brain injury or stroke, seizures are unfortunately a common and distressing occurrence. They are the clearest example of what happens when the brain’s excitatory neurotransmitters outweigh the inhibitory ones. Rapid and uncontrolled electrical activity are hallmarks of seizure activity typically spreading to both sides of the brain in the absence of adequate inhibitory action.
In a rat model of epilepsy, treatment with gastrodin significantly reduced the frequency and time to onset of seizures; at the same time it reduced brain markers of lipid peroxidation, a side effect of prolonged seizure activity that indicates destruction of brain cell membranes.56
Mainstream medicine treats acute seizures with GABA-like drugs that increase inhibitory brain activity (drugs such as lorazepam (Ativan®), for example). Gastrodin naturally raises calming GABA levels in brain cells by decreasing levels of GABA-breakdown enzymes. Gastrodin supplementation also lowered seizure-prone animals’ seizure severity scores.30

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According to the National Institutes of Health, over 40 million adults in America suffer from anxiety disorder.57 Like seizures, anxiety is a direct result of an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory brain cell activity, with excitatory stimuli being predominate. Drugs used to treat anxiety, therefore, are usually ones that mimic the calming, inhibitory effects of GABA, such as the benzodiazepines (Valium, oxazepam, and others.)
Gastrodin’s two major breakdown compounds, found in brain cells after ingestion of gastrodin, have been shown to have powerful anti-anxiety effects in mice.58 Unlike their drug counterparts, however, these gastrodin metabolites did not produce unwanted side effects such as sedation or muscle relaxant effects.
In a study involving 100 patients with neurotic anxiety, 100% of the patients showed improvement with gastrodin therapy.59 However, in the patient group treated with conventional medicine, 78% of the patients showed improvement. Beyond just improvement, 88% of those treated with gastrodin were clinically cured of anxiety while those taking conventional medicine showed a 32% cure rate.59
Migraine Headaches

The Gastrodia orchid from which we get gastrodin has been used for thousands of years in preventing and treating headaches in traditional Chinese medicine.60 Now, in a laboratory model of the biochemical effects of migraine headaches, gastrodin has been compared to two approved anti-migraine drugs, sumatriptan and flunarizine.60 Gastrodin, in a fashion similar to that of the prescription drugs, significantly reduced the expression and actions of proteins known to be involved in the pain response that occurs in migraine and other “vascular” headaches.60
Diabetic Neuropathy

Even outside of the brain, gastrodin shows strong evidence of its “nerve shielding” effects. This is evident in studies of gastrodin and painful diabetic neuropathy, a condition in which peripheral nerves become damaged by chronic exposure to high blood glucose levels. We’ve seen that gastrodin reduces insulin resistance and speeds clearance of glucose from blood, which can help prevent neuropathy.22
But gastrodin also seems to heal nerve fibers even after diabetic neuropathy develops. Diabetic rats exhibiting pain resulting from normally non-painful stimuli, such as light touch (allodynia) and excessive sensitivity to minor painful stimuli (hyperalgesia) showed improvement in their symptoms following gastrodin administration.61 In-depth studies revealed a decrease in the nerve cells’ excitability, precisely what we’d expect from the gastrodin compound capable of balancing out the excitatory-to-inhibitory signaling ratio in nerve cells.61 Human studies show an improvement in nerve conduction velocity and total curative rate in diabetics receiving gastrodin by injection as a drug, compared with a control group.62

Dosage Suggestions

A wide range of gastrodin doses have shown protective and supportive effects on neurovascular function, in particular in the context of neurovascular inflammation. One pre-clinical study using a well-validated model showed improved memory consolidation and retrieval in chemically impaired rats using a human equivalent dose of 50 mg daily. This 50 mg dose, when combined with nutrients that function via some of the same mechanisms as gastrodin may be sufficient to derive results in aging humans.34

Those seeking maximum benefit should consider adding 600 mg of gastrodin in divided doses (300 mg twice daily) for thirty days. After thirty days, 300 mg of gastrodin may be sufficient based upon the experience of gastrodin as an over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical agent. As additional research continues on gastrodin, better clarification on optimal dosing for a wide range of neurovascular and neuro-inflammatory conditions should be available.


Every second, your brain is targeted by an onslaught of destructive events that cause it to age. Even so-called normal aging results in multiple damaging cascades of events that lead to memory loss, slowed learning reflexes, and can set one up for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Those who suffer a stroke, head injury, or undergo heart surgery can accumulate years’ worth of brain aging in a few short minutes.
In recent years, scientists have made significant advances in the understanding of the mechanisms of neuro-degeneration. They’ve even discovered silent brain-healing systems that lie latent, awaiting activation.
Gastrodin, derived from a traditional Chinese medicinal orchid, can activate dormant self-healing programs hidden in the depths of your brain.
Studies show that gastrodin fights brain aging at multiple levels, re-balancing neurotransmitters towards a calmer less overly active state, restoring brain blood flow to more youthful levels, and preventing memory loss and other cognitive changes.
The combination of these protective and self-healing effects may help slow “natural” brain aging while reducing risk for slow-onset disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. And, by similar mechanisms, gastrodin seems to slow or reverse damage done by acute events like strokes.
Gastrodin’s re-balancing act also offers promise to those suffering from seizures, migraine headaches, and even painful diabetic neuropathy.
Guarding one’s brain against daily wear and against potential catastrophes may now be possible with daily use of gastrodin.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

Brain Fitness

Your brain is constantly changing—creating new neurons and increasing the functional connections among them, known as synapses and dendrites. The level at which it performs these functions determines your brain’s fitness, which is dependent on the inflow of nutrients and blood.
Physical exercise promotes brain blood flow67,68 and the production of blood vessels,69 brain cells,69-71 and beneficial brain proteins called neurotrophins.72,73 In these ways, exercise protects brain fitness and the capacity of a person to meet the various cognitive demands of life.
As a result, studies have repeatedly shown that older individuals who regularly participate in physical exercise are less likely to succumb to cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or Alzheimer’s disease.74-76
In a study of older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, scientists found that 40 to 60 minutes of intensive aerobic exercise four days a week acted as a “potent [non-drug-induced] intervention that improves executive control processes for older women at high risk of cognitive decline.”77 Another study of 1,300 people by the Mayo Clinic concluded, “Any frequency of moderate exercise performed in midlife or late life was associated with [reduced odds] of MCI.”78
Like physical exercise, mental exercise—formal education, continuing to learn, being mentally engaged in life, and practicing cognitive skills—can help prevent cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.79-81 Mental exercise can also improve normally functioning minds.82
Studies show that brain fitness can be improved by various cognitive activities, such as chess, bridge, or more structured computer-based workouts.83 Scientists found that, compared to other computer-based activities, computerized brain-boosting exercises improved attention and memory in people over age 60.84,85 Other research showed that participants aged 65 and older who performed mental training for two-and-a-half hours weekly improved their memory, reasoning, and information-processing speed—within five weeks.86 And individuals who did crossword puzzles four days a week were found to have a 47% lower risk of dementia than those who did a crossword puzzle just once a week.87

Life Extension Magazine Winter Edition 2013-2014
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Broad-Spectrum Protection Against Brain Aging

By Arlan Myerson

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  • He F, Xiao H, Zhang F. Clinical observation of gastrodin in the treatment of cerebral hemorrhage. Chin J Clinical Rational Drug Use. 2012;5(7B):12-13.
  • Ojemann LM, Nelson WL, Shin DS, Rowe AO, Buchanan RA. Tian ma, an ancient Chinese herb, offers new options for the treatment of epilepsy and other conditions. Epilepsy Behav. 2006 Mar;8(2):376-83.
  • Hsieh CL, Chiang SY, Cheng KS, et al. Anticonvulsive and free radical scavenging activities of Gastrodia elata Bl. in kainic acid-treated rats. Am J Chin Med. 2001;29(2):331-41.
  • Available at: http://www.nimh.nih....ca/index.shtml. Accessed July 22, 2013.
  • Jung JW, Yoon BH, Oh HR, et al. Anxiolytic-like effects of Gastrodia elata and its phenolic constituents in mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 2006 Feb;29(2):261-5.
  • Zhang YM, Zhong XM. Clinical effect of gastrodin as adjuvant treatment on anxiety neurosis. China Prac Med. 2010 Aug;5(23):160-1.
  • Luo GG, Fan WJ, Yuan XY, et al. The pharmacological mechanism of gastrodin on calcitonin gene-related peptide of cultured rat trigeminal ganglion. Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2011 Dec;46(12):1451-6.
  • Sun W, Miao B, Wang XC, et al. Gastrodin inhibits allodynia and hyperalgesia in painful diabetic neuropathy rats by decreasing excitability of nociceptive primary sensory neurons. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39647.
  • Yuan J, Xufeng E. Clinical observation on patients with diabetic neuropathy treated with combination of kudiazi injection and tianmasu injection. 2012.
  • Skaper SD. Neuronal growth-promoting and inhibitory cues in neuroprotection and neuroregeneration. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;846:13-22.
  • Hsieh CL, Lin JJ, Chiang SY, et al. Gastrodia elata modulated activator protein 1 via c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathway in kainic acid-induced epilepsy in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jan 19;109(2):241-7.
  • Manavalan A, Feng L, Sze SK, Hu JM, Heese K. New insights into the brain protein metabolism of Gastrodia elata-treated rats by quantitative proteomics. J Proteomics. 2012 Apr 18;75(8):2468-79.
  • Du X, Mao R, Liu Y, Li Y, Shan Y. Gastrodine represses expression of IL-1 beta, IL-6 induced by hyperglycemia in gitter cells. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2009 Jun;34(12):1535-9.
  • Linkis P, Jørgensen LG, Dynamic exercise enhances regional cerebral artery mean flow velocity. J Appl Physiol. 1995 Jan;78(1):12-6.
  • Querido JS, Sheel AW. Regulation of cerebral blood flow during exercise. Sports Med. 2007;37(9):765-82.
  • Lista I, Sorrentino G. Biological mechanisms of physical activity in preventing cognitive decline. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010 May;30(4):493-503.
  • Van der Borght K, Kóbor-Nyakas DE, Klauke K, et al. Physical exercise leads to rapid adaptations in hippocampal vasculature: temporal dynamics and relationship to cell proliferation and neurogenesis. Hippocampus. 2009 Oct;19(10):928-36.
  • Pereira AC, Huddleston DE, Brickman AM, et al. An in vivo correlate of exercise-induced neurogenesis in the adult dentate gyrus. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2007 Mar 27;104(13):5638-43.
  • Ploughman M. Exercise is brain food: the effects of physical activity on cognitive function. Dev Neurorehabil. 2008 Jul;11(3):236-40.
  • Floel A, Ruscheweyh R, Kruger K, et al. Physical activity and memory functions: Are neurotrophins and cerebral gray matter volume the missing link? Neuroimage. 2010 Feb 1;49(3):2756-63.
  • Ainslie PN, Cotter JD, George KP, et al. Elevation in cerebral blood flow velocity with aerobic fitness throughout healthy human ageing. J Physiol . 2008 Aug 15;586(16):4005-10.
  • Deslandes A, Moraes H, Ferreira C, et al. Exercise and mental health: many reasons to move. Neuropsychobiology. 2009;59(4):191-8.
  • Crawford JG. Alzheimer’s disease risk factors as related to cerebral blood flow. Med Hypotheses. 1996 Apr;46(4):367-77.
  • Baker LD, Frank LL, Foster-Schubert K, et al. Effects of aerobic exercise on mild cognitive impairment: a controlled trial. Arch Neurol. 2010 Jan;67(1):71-9.
  • Geda YE, Roberts RO, Knopman DS, et al. Physical exercise, aging, and mild cognitive impairment: a population-based study. Arch Neurol. 2010 Jan;67(1):80-6.
  • de la Fuente-Fernandez R. Impact of neuroprotection on incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. PLoS ONE. 2006;20(1):e52.
  • Spector A, Thorgrimsen L, Woods B, et al. Efficacy of an evidence-based cognitive stimulation therapy programme for people with dementia: randomised controlled trial. Br J Psych. 2003;183(3):248-54.
  • Belleville S, Gilbert B, Fontaine F, Gagnon L, Menard E, Gauthier S. Improvement of episodic memory in persons with mild cognitive impairment and healthy older adults: evidence from a cognitive intervention program. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2006;22(5-6):486-99.
  • Available at:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201004/building-better-brain-strengthening-your-mental-muscle. Accessed October 17, 2013.
  • Cassavaugh N, Kramer AF. Transfer of computer-based cognitive training to simulated driving in older adults. Appl Ergonomics. 2009;40(5):943-52.
  • Smith GE, Housen P, Yaffe K, et al. A cognitive training program based on principles of brain plasticity: results from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Apr;57(4):594-603.
  • Mahncke HW, Connor BB, Appelman J, et al. Memory enhancement in healthy older adults using a brain plasticity-based training program: A randomized, controlled study. PNAS USA. 2006 August 15;103(33):12523-8.
  • Ball K, Berch DB, Helmers KF, et al. Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002;288(18):2271-81.
  • Verghese J, Lipton RB, Katz MJ, et al. Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. New Engl J Med. 2003;348(25): 2508-16.

Edited by brendan1, 28 November 2013 - 03:04 AM.

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#2 Nattzor

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:05 PM

Remove everything that is blue, makes the whole thing un-readable.
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#3 telight

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:58 PM

If you look at reference 19 you will see that the authors of that study concluded that 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol was more effective than gastrodin at reversing drug induced memory deficits. Interestingly, the study used piracetam as a positive control.

#4 david ellis

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 05:52 PM

If you look at reference 19 you will see that the authors of that study concluded that 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol was more effective than gastrodin at reversing drug induced memory deficits. Interestingly, the study used piracetam as a positive control.

This quoted statement is confusing to me. Is the 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol the actual molecule? And the other gastrodin could it be an extract of less than 100% effectivity?

I found the difference of pricing on the net also confusing. Is there a gold plated version of gastrodin? And is it worth the money.
I found gastrodin on ebay from a chinese seller at about $11 a gram shipped. LEF is priced at about $1 a gram. Alibaba has a price of $30 a kilogram for 99% pure extract. Selleckchem.com wants $320 for 10 mg.

The report by Life Extension above- link

#5 Flex

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:40 PM

Afaik vendors like Selleckchem.com sell a high purified extract which is used and needed for scientific studys, therefore this price.

I know this answer is late but anyway.


Bought Gastrodin recently and learned that it could interfere with bloodthinners. So be Careful !


Gastrodin interaction with human fibrinogen: anticoagulant effects and binding studies.



Study on Compatibility Rationality of Gastrodin and Puerarin based on Improving Microcirculation

..The results showed that both gastrodin and puerarin have effects of anticoagulation and anti-platelet aggregation..



Edited by Flex, 10 July 2014 - 04:41 PM.

#6 Ultravioletbllc

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:16 AM

If had results worth writing home over , with strength in comparison too rxs at 600mg minimum dose of lefs product

#7 Flex

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:49 AM

1 Lef pill has 300mg and suggests 1 pill a day.


Btw, It has for me a good to very good mind brightening effect

#8 Ultravioletbllc

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 03:05 AM

It has the most real life promise (FOR ME) of any nootropic compound ever , the issue right now is the quality , purity and current bio-availability

I have a really extreme idea and once I try it on myself I'll report back here with the results

I do not take any Rx blood thinners I do consume 161mg of aspirin daily as well as around 2.4 grams(minimum) of omega3s
And have not had a single adverse effect with these

#9 Flex

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 03:40 AM

I learned recently that it inhibits only fibrin formation, but not the other coagulation factors or the aggregation.

Gastrodin interaction with human fibrinogen: anticoagulant effects and binding studies.



bio-availability is afaik 80%

and regarding qualitiy,at least I trust LEF.

So from my view, the only thing with LEF is the high price.


Btw, I´m very interrested about Your Idea.

Edited by Flex, 16 July 2014 - 03:51 AM.

#10 Dracula

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 08:27 AM

How to increase absorption? Blend with lecithin?

#11 Flex

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 04:07 PM

Its allready 80%

Ohterwise, I dont know how to further increase the absorbtion.

Perhaps with piperine

#12 William Sterog

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 02:00 PM

Wanna know more about gastrodin. So... Bump!

#13 VerdeGo

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 04:21 AM

I second the bump. Can anyone here relate personal experiences with it? Flex, by "mind brightening" are you referring to mood elevation? How does it compare to a GABA prescursor like theanine/glutamine? I will have to start researching this substance further and possibly add it to my arsenal of GABA precursors and mild GABAergics. I don't have a stack, nor do I take a supplement on a daily basis. I just like having a selection of GABA-boosters around for when situational anxiety hits, without the aspect of addiction and withdrawal (or some detrimental effect to another part of the body). But anything that elevates GABA by 34% and regenerates neurons sounds very intriguing.

#14 Area-1255

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 02:51 AM

Gastrodin inhibits GABA reuptake and can increase GABA concentrations....

For me, it helped concentration and had a noticeable anxiolytic effect without sedation...it actually stopped some negative side-effects of 1,3 DMAA as well..





J Neurosci Res. 2003 Feb 15;71(4):534-43.

Gastrodin decreases immunoreactivities of gamma-aminobutyric acid shunt enzymes in the hippocampus of seizure-sensitive gerbils.

Gastrodin is one of the natural compound isolated from Gastrodia elata and has known anticonvulsant effects, although the exact pharmacological principles of this natural compound and its effects on other aspects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolism in vivo have not been explored. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of gastrodin on GABA metabolism in the gerbil hippocampus were examined, in an effort to identify the antiepileptic characteristics of this substance. Gastrodin reduced the seizure score in the treated group, although the immunoreactivities of GABA synthetic enzymes and GABA transporters were unaltered in gastrodin-treated animals. Interestingly, in the gastrodin-treated group, GABA transaminase (GABA-T) immunoreactivity in the hippocampus, particularly in neurons, was significantly decreased. In the gastrodin-treated group, both succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) and succinic semialdehyde reductase (SSAR) immunoreactivities in the hippocampus was also decreased significantly, which stood in contrast to the nontreated group, in which strong SSADH and SSAR immunoreactivities were detected. From the neuroanatomical viewpoint, these findings suggest that gastrodin may cause the elevation of GABA concentration by inhibiting the GABA shunt.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:   12548709   [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Edited by Area-1255, 06 May 2015 - 02:51 AM.

#15 VerdeGo

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 03:37 AM

Would you say then that it's similar to the effects of l-theanine or l-glutamine in the aspect of anxiety? The "noticeable anxiolytic effect without sedation" comment reminds me of what people usually comment on regarding l-theanine, though l-theanine has no neuroprotective or neuroregeneration effects that I know of. Any effect on mood besides relaxation? Theanine affects dopamine levels, and it makes me more disinhibited, happy, and carefree though in a subtle way. Any similar effects with gastrodin? I see in one study it promotes dopamine metabolism. I see the second link you provided mentioned gastrodin providing anxiolysis via the serotonergic nervous system, so it plays a role in serotonin? 


The dr-bob thread was interesting. I posted the study referenced in the thread below for others to see. One person on the thread said it cut down his desire to drink. In another post it was stated that 600 mg a day of gastrodin has a stronger anxiolytic effect than high doses of lemon balm. It also provided improved sleep, more calm, and one user's ability to cut his benzo dose in half. Another person stated it made him less suicidal. 


Here's the studies that were referenced:


Gastrodin Protects Apoptotic Dopaminergic Neurons in a Toxin-Induced Parkinson's Disease Model

Gastrodia elata (GE) Blume is one of the most important traditional plants in Oriental countries and has been used for centuries to improve various conditions. The phenolic glucoside gastrodin is an active constituent of GE. The aim of this study was to investigate the neuroprotective role of gastrodin in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)/1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine- (MPTP) induced human dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells and mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD), respectively. Gastrodin significantly and dose dependently protected dopaminergic neurons against neurotoxicity through regulating free radicals, Bax/Bcl-2 mRNA, caspase-3, and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in SH-SY5Y cells stressed with MPP+. Gastrodin also showed neuroprotective effects in the subchronic MPTP mouse PD model by ameliorating bradykinesia and motor impairment in the pole and rotarod tests, respectively. Consistent with this finding, gastrodin prevented dopamine depletion and reduced reactive astrogliosis caused by MPTP as assessed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting in the substantiae nigrae and striatata of mice. Moreover, gastrodin was also effective in preventing neuronal apoptosis by attenuating antioxidant and antiapoptotic activities in these brain areas. These results strongly suggest that gastrodin has protective effects in experimental PD models and that it may be developed as a clinical candidate to ameliorate PD symptoms.

Dr. Jack Kruse, however, has stated all these effects as "hype." Of course I know more now about gastrodin than I know about Jack Kruse.


Gastrodin Ameliorates Anxiety-Like Behaviors and Inhibits IL-1β Level and p38 MAPK Phosphorylation of Hippocampus in the Rat Model of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


Summary Gastrodin, a main constituent of a Chinese herbal medicine, has been shown to be effective in treating various mood disorders. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether gastrodin could ameliorate stress-associated behavior in a rat model of enhanced single prolonged stress (ESPS)-induced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Following ESPS, rats were administered orally with gastrodin (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg daily) or vehicle for 2 weeks. Animals were then tested in the open field and elevated plus-maze, and the levels of IL-6 and IL-1β, the expression of iNOS, p38 and phospho-p38 (p-p38) in hippocampus were also tested. ESPS exposure resulted in pronounced anxiety-like behavior, elevated IL-6 and IL-1β levels, and the higher expression of iNOS and p-p38 in hippocampus. However, repeated treatment with gastrodin, particularly at higher doses, reversed the aforementioned changes, including anxiety-like behavior, levels of IL-6 and IL-1β, and the expression of iNOS and the p38 MAPK phosphorylation. These results indicate that gastrodin possesses anxiolytic effect and may be an effective herbal preparation for the treatment of PTSD


How often do you use gastrodin, how long does it last, and is there any rebound anxiety after stopping? Apparently the oral elimination half-life of gastrodin is 7.47 hours after dosage, possibly creating an anxiolytic effect slightly longer than that of l-theanine. 


This site seems to break down how it's excreted from the body and more pharmacokinetics. http://www.kpc.com.c...sp?ArticleID=27

#16 golgi1

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:04 AM



Gastrodia elata modulated activator protein 1 via c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathway in kainic acid-induced epilepsy in rats.
Author information
  • 1Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.

Gastrodia elata (Orchidaceae) is a Chinese herb. Our previous study showed that Gastrodia elata is able to reduce epileptic seizures, oxygen free radicals, microglia activation, and apoptosis in kainic acid (KA)-treated rats. Activator protein 1 (AP-1) is involved in modulating the neuronal plasticity and apoptosis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of AP-1 in antiepileptic effect of Gastrodia elata. Gastrodia elata (0.5, 1.0g/kg) or valproic acid (VA, 250mg/kg) was administered orally in Sprague-Dawley rats for 1 week before and 2 weeks after intraperitoneal injection of KA. Protein levels of AP-1 were determined by measuring c-Jun and c-Fos proteins, and the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases activations were determined by measuring the phosphorylations of extracellular signal-regulated kinases, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of rat brain using Western blotting. These results indicated that pre-treatment with Gastrodia elata or VA activated JNK signal pathway and c-Jun expression, while post-treatment with Gastrodia elata or VA suppressed both the JNK signaling pathway and the c-Jun expression induced by KA. These findings suggested that Gastrodia elata regulated the AP-1 expression via the JNK signaling pathway in KA-induced epilepsy.



Although this abstract is referring to the whole plant, the possibility exists that Gastrodin, or perhaps something else in the plant, has a KOR antagonizing effect via c jun activation. I could be misinterpretiing the possibility, but I thought it was worthwhile to present.


Edited by golgi1, 20 May 2015 - 05:07 AM.

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#17 Dracula

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 09:38 AM

It's been 11 months now. Daily dosage: 2.4grams. 




I can now read peoples minds.

When I dream, I see the future.

I am now much like Lucy, in the movie... I am becoming one.

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#18 William Sterog

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 12:02 PM

It's been 11 months now. Daily dosage: 2.4grams. 




I can now read peoples minds.

When I dream, I see the future.

I am now much like Lucy, in the movie... I am becoming one.


Gastrodin: Side effects -> Maniac/psicotic episodes. 

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#19 monowav

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:49 AM

Here's my review on gastrodin (and tian ma) https://mybiohack.co...a-epilepsy-gaba

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