Bacoside health benefit and role in mental health and memory enhancement, use for neurological disorders
February 1 2017

Bacoside A, a triterpenoid saponin, is a major constituent isolated from the plant Bacopa monniera. and used a a memory herb and for mental enhancement. This substance appears to have antioxidant and liver protective potential. Bacoside A is thought to be the active ingredient in bacopa herb along with bacoside B. There are various standardized extracts of bacopa containing different percentages of bacosides. Two common bacopa extracts include bacosides at 20 percent and 40 percent.

Bacopa extract supplement with bacosides
Bacopa herb has been revered for centuries in the Ayurvedic herbal tradition of India to enhance clear thinking and support memory function. Studies have shown that Bacopa supports learning and memory in humans. Bacosides are found in a memory formula called Mind Power Rx, formulated by a medical doctor.

Bacosides for high altitude oxygen deprivation?
Bacopa monniera leaf extract ameliorates hypobaric hypoxia induced spatial memory impairment.
Neurobiol Dis. 2008. Hota SK, Barhwal K, Baitharu I, Prasad D, Ilavazhagan G. Hota SK, Barhwal K, Baitharu I, Prasad D, Ilavazhagan G. Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road, Timarpur, Delhi, India.
Hypobaric hypoxia induced memory impairment has been attributed to several factors including increased oxidative stress, altered neurotransmission and apoptosis. The present study aimed at exploring the therapeutic potential of a bacoside rich leaf extract of Bacopa monniera in improving the memory functions in hypobaric conditions. The learning ability was evaluated in male Sprague Dawley rats along with memory retrieval following exposure to hypobaric conditions simulating an altitude of 25,000 ft for different durations. The effect of bacoside administration on apoptosis, cytochrome c oxidase activity, ATP levels, and oxidative stress markers and on plasma corticosterone levels was investigated. Bacoside administration was seen to enhance learning ability in rats along with augmentation in memory retrieval and prevention of dendritic atrophy following hypoxic exposure. In addition, it decreased oxidative stress, plasma corticosterone levels and neuronal degeneration. Bacoside administration also increased cytochrome c oxidase activity along with a concomitant increase in ATP levels. Hence, administration of bacosides could be a useful therapeutic strategy in ameliorating hypobaric hypoxia induced cognitive dysfunctions and other related neurological disorders.

Bacoside for liver health and antioxidant
Hepatoprotective activity of bacoside A against N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver toxicity in adult rats.
Cell Biol Toxicol. 2008. Janani P, Sivakumari K, Parthasarathy C. Janani P, Sivakumari K, Parthasarathy C. Department of Zoology, Presidency College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
N-Nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) is a notorious carcinogen, present in many environmental factors. The present study was designed to evaluate the protective effect of bacoside A (the active principle isolated from Bacopa monniera) on carcinogen-induced damage in rat liver. Adult male albino rats were pretreated with 15 mg/kg body weight/day of bacoside A orally and then intoxicated with single necrogenic dose of N-nitrosodiethylamine, intraperitonially and maintained for 7 days. The liver weight, lipid peroxidation (LPO), and activity of serum marker enzymes (aspartate transaminases, alanine transaminases, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) were markedly increased in carcinogen-administered rats, whereas the activities of marker enzymes were near normal in bacoside A-pretreated rats. Activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutatione-S-transferase, and reduced glutathione) in liver also decreased in carcinogen-administered rats, which were significantly elevated in bacoside A-pretreated rats. It is concluded that pretreatment of bacoside A prevents the elevation of LPO and activity of serum marker enzymes and maintains the antioxidant system and thus protects the rats from liver toxicity.

Hepatoprotective effect of Bacoside-A, a major constituent of Bacopa monniera.
Phytomedicine. 2008. Sumathi T, Nongbri A. Department of Medical Biochemistry, Dr. ALM Post Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Bacoside-A was evaluated for its hepatoprotective activity against d-GalN induced liver injury in rats. Bacoside A reduced the elevated levels of serum alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma-glutamyl transferase (gamma-GT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), 5’nucleotidase. In addition Bacoside A also significantly restored towards normalization of the decreased levels of Vitamin C, and Vitamin E induced by d-GalN both in liver and plasma. These results suggest that Bacoside A has hepatoprotective effect against d-GalN induced hepatotxicity in rats.

Bacoside protects brain tissue from cigarette harm
Chronic cigarette smoke exposure enhances oxidative stress, thereby disturbing the tissue defense system and bacoside A protects the brain from the oxidative damage through its antioxidant potential.

Cigarette smoking induces heat shock protein 70 kDa expression and apoptosis in rat brain: Modulation by bacoside A.
Neuroscience. 2006. Anbarasi K, Kathirvel G, Vani G, Jayaraman G, Shyamala Devi CS. Department of Biochemistry, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai, India.
Apoptosis is suggested as a possible contributing factor in the pathogenesis of smoking-induced toxicity. Therefore the present study was designed to investigate the influence of chronic cigarette smoke exposure on apoptosis and the modulatory effect of bacoside A on smoking-induced apoptosis in rat brain. Adult male albino rats of Wistar strain were exposed to cigarette smoke and simultaneously administered with bacoside A  for a period of 12 weeks. Administration of bacoside A prevented expression of hsp70 and neuronal apoptosis during cigarette smoking. We speculate that apoptosis may be responsible for the smoking-induced brain damage and bacoside A can protect the brain from the toxic effects of cigarette smoking.

Neurotoxicology. 2014. Attenuation of smoke induced neuronal and physiological changes by bacoside rich extract in Wistar rats via down regulation of HO-1 and iNOS.

Memory improvement and seizure protection
Bacopa monnieri and Bacoside A for ameliorating epilepsy associated behavioral deficits.
Bacopa monnieri is an outstanding nervine tonic used for raising the mental performance. It helps in concentration, comprehension, recall and alertness, Brahmi is particularly beneficial as it aids in categorizing information in brain and its subsequent expression. Bacopa is also called as a natural antioxidant which may give details its neuroprotective role seen in the memory centers of the brain. Epilepsy is neuronal disorder characterized by learning, cognitive and memory impairments. The present review summarizes information concerning botany, chemistry and beneficial effect of Bacopa monnieri on epilepsy associated behavioral deficits. Fitoterapia.. Mathew J, Paul J, Nandhu MS, Paulose CS. Molecular Neurobiology and Cell Biology Unit, Centre for Neuroscience, Department of Biotechnology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, Kerala, India.

Side effects, testimonial
I take a supplement with bacosides in the morning and I have not had any problems taking a 50 mg 5-htp supplement in the evening before dinner.