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The traditional Asian herb Andrographis paniculata has attracted attention for applications ranging from joint health to immune health, but new research suggests the herb may also support healthy cognitive function. HP Ingredients (Bradenton, FL) has launched NeuroActin, a patent-pending and proprietary extract of Andrographis paniculata, on the basis of two animal studies into the ingredient’s effects on the brain.

A study1 published in Biochemical Journal explores the effect of andrographolide (ANDRO) on the Wnt signaling pathway of mice and rats through in vivo, in vitro, and in silico analyses. ANDRO is one active component of Andrographis paniculata and the Wnt signaling pathway plays a crucial role in the nervous system. Dysfunction of Wnt signaling “is associated with several neurodegenerative diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said researchers.

The in vitro kinase assay demonstrated that ANDRO inhibits Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3β), an enzyme that regulates the Wnt signaling pathway and neuronal cell function, said researchers. In silico analyses suggest that this inhibition occurs at the substrate-binding site of GSK-3β.

The researchers ultimately concluded that “our results suggest that ANDRO could be used as a potential therapeutic drug for disorders cause by Wnt-signaling dysfunction such as neurodegenerative diseases.”

Another study2 investigated the effect of ANDRO on mice aged 7 and 12 months with AβPP-PS1 mutant transgenes, which are intended to model Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans. Researchers found that ANDRO had the effect of reducing harmful amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) levels and tau phosphorylation, both of which contribute to the “underlying neuropathology of AD.”

“ANDRO could play a role in potential preventive therapy during AD progression,” said the researchers.

HP Ingredients says this recent research shows NeuroActin can support learning and memory, especially for consumers looking to protect cognitive health as they grow older.

“These two in-depth studies illuminate the potent and diligent activities as well as the affinity of the Andrographis extract in supporting brain integrity,” says Annie Eng, CEO of HP Ingredients. “The genesis of our long-term research and development of NeuroActin was to provide a powerful ingredient to address the desires of millions of active Americans who are concerned with maintaining brain and cognitive fitness well into their futures.”

Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook magazine


1. Tapia-Rojas C et al., “Andrographolide activates the canonical Wnt signalling pathway by a mechanism that implicates the non-ATP competitive inhibition of GSK-3β: autoregulation of GSK-3β in vivo.” Biochemical Journal, vol. 466, no. 2 (March 2015): 415-30.

2. Serrano FG et al., “Andrographolide reduces cognitive impairment in young and mature AbetaPPswe/PS-1 mice.” Molecular Neurodegeneration, vol. 9, no. 1 (December 2014): 61.

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