2. Bacopa May Slow the Deterioration of Brain Cells
As aforementioned, bacopa is considered a powerful antioxidant. This means it has various protective properties. Antioxidants work to prevent free radical damage to the cells throughout the body and in the brain. Some research goes as far as to demonstrate its powerful ability to reduce DNA damage.
In Alzheimer’s disease patients, this may further help inhibit protein development contributing to the progression of memory loss and the disease itself. It may also prevent cell death which also contributes to such neurological conditions and disorders. And several studies have supported these memory-protecting claims, such as the ones described in the above section (4).
With 50% of adults over the age of 64 reported memory dysfunction or loss, a need for preventative measures and slowed progression of memory impairments is necessary. By reducing oxidative stress in the brain, bacopa works to protect and prevent deterioration of the brain cells and their DNA, as well as reduce incidences of neurodegenerative disorders associated with cognitive decline and memory loss (4).
In this way, bacopa acts as an adaptogen, aiding the body in overcoming stress — specifically that caused by free radicals.
Bacopa further protects the brain by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, and stimulating choline acetyltransferase (5). Choline acetyltransferase amps up the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is necessary for a variety of functions and processes throughout the body, including motor movement. It acts as an important chemical messenger in the brain and nervous system.
And surprisingly, other studies have also explored bacopa in aiding in the repair of already damaged neurons. Although, these studies were conducted without the use of human trials, which could further our understanding of how this incredible nootropic works (6).
3. Bacopa May Reduce the Risk of Neurodegenerative Disorders and Diseases
In line with the aforementioned explored benefits, bacopa is highly regarded for its ability to protect the brain and reduce one’s risk when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, dementia, and other neurological disorders. It does this by reducing oxidative stress, protecting the cells and DNA components.
For instance, in Alzheimer’s disease, bacopa has shown to decrease the beta-amyloid protein deposits in the brain that drive the progression of the disease. Although this has only been demonstrated in animal trials, giving way to the potential for more research and clinical studies to further solidify these effects in humans (7). Yet, these studies still show the immense impact and potential of bacopa on cognitive function.