From Drs. Rubin and Anderson at the FD Research Lab:

“The ongoing screening efforts at the Fordham lab are aimed at raising correctly made ELP1 (formerly called IKAP) protein levels in individuals with FD. People with FD have low ELP1 levels and much of the ELP1 is made incorrectly because of the genetic mutation that causes FD. We have discovered that rosemary extract and carnosol (a chemical compound present in rosemary) significantly elevate ELP1 levels in fibroblast (skin) cells derived from both healthy individuals and individuals with FD. As the FD-causing mutation compromises neurological function, we also looked at the impact of carnosol treatment on neuronal cells in the lab and a strong positive response was observed. We then did a study on white blood cells freshly harvested from FD patients; we treated the cells with carnosol and found that the treatment resulted in higher levels of correctly made ELP1 in these cells. The increase in ELP1 levels in blood cells led us to examine the impact of ingestion of carnosol-containing rosemary extract in healthy volunteers. For this study, blood cells were harvested prior to and 14 days after the daily ingestion of rosemary extract. A clear increase in the level of ELP1 was observed in the blood cells harvested following rosemary extract ingestion. Based on these findings, a clinical study of the impact of rosemary ingestion in individuals with FD has commenced.”

“The health benefits of rosemary extract ingestion have been extensively described in the scientific literature. The noted ability of rosemary extract to also enhance the production of nerve growth factor and to support the development of healthy bones suggests that individuals with FD will benefit from the pleiotropic, or multiple, actions of rosemary.”

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Publication: Carnosol, a diterpene present in rosemary, increases ELP1 levels in familial Dysautonomia (FD) patient-derived cells and healthy adults: a possible therapy for FD (PDF)

Please note: Before making any change to your child’s diet, you should discuss this matter with her/his treating physician.