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Curcumin From Turmeric Can Treat and Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Despite the continued efforts of thousands of scientists working on a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, we are heading towards a worldwide epidemic. According to the 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report, released March 24:1

  • There are 5.3 million Americans living with the disease and every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease.
  • By 2010, there will be nearly a half million new cases of Alzheimer’s disease; and by 2050, there will be nearly a million new cases per year.
  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the country, surpassing diabetes.
  • While deaths from other major diseases dropped between 2000 and 2006—heart disease (-11.5 %), breast cancer (-.6 %), prostate cancer (-14.3 %) and stroke (-18.1 %)—deaths from Alzheimer’s disease rose 47.1 %.

Do something NOW to protect your brain health!

Instead of wondering if you will become a victim of the disease that robs your memory, personality, problem solving skills, and ability to walk and talk, you can do something NOW to avert the possibility of developing the most dreaded disease of the 21st century.

New studies on turmeric are solidifying earlier findings that this ancient herb is extremely beneficial in protecting the brain.

Curcumin from Turmeric

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease among adults aged 70-79 years in India is 4.4 times less than that of adults aged 70-79 years in the United States.2

Interestingly, Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be uncommon in India because the spice turmeric is a staple in Indian cooking (think curry), and its extract, curcumin, has been shown to help reduce inflammation and beta-amyloid plaques—major contributors to Alzheimer’s disease—and to delay the degradation of neurons.3

Although most studies done on curcumin have been on laboratory animals, the evidence is mounting that it has a potential role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Recent scientific studies

  • A recent study done on laboratory animals at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, revealed that curcumin is effective in preventing cognitive deficits, and suggests that it might be beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia. Animals with oxidative damage were tested for cognitive performance. Those that were given a curcumin supplement showed significant improvement in comparison to those that were not.4
  • Another recent study at the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, found that curcumin has the ability to enhance memory and reduce acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter in the brain.5
  • Researchers at the Medical College of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, recently did vivo and in vivo studies which confirmed that curcumin improves the memory ability of laboratory animals and inhibits cellular death in cultured brain cells.6

Conclusion

Turmeric has been a revered medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Now its extract is being proven as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can potentially help in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

References

  1. 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report.
  2. Ganguli M, Chandra V, Kamboh MI, Johnston JM, Dodge HH, Thelma BK, Juyal RC, Pandav R, Belle SH, DeKosky ST.. Apolipoprotein E polymorphism and Alzheimer’s disease: The Indo-US cross-national dementia study. Arch Neurol 2000;57:824-30.
  3. Mishra S, Palanivelu K. The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2009 Apr 13];11:13-9.
  4. Ishrat T, Hoda MN, Khan MB, Yousuf S, Ahmad M, Khan MM, Ahmad A, Islam F. Amelioration of cognitive deficits and neurodegeneration by curcumin in rat model of sporadic dementia of Alzheimer’s type (SDAT). Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2009 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. Ahmed T, Gilani AH. Inhibitory effect of curcuminoids on acetylcholinesterase activity and attenuation of scopolamine-induced amnesia may explain medicinal use of turmeric in Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Feb;91(4):554-9. Epub 2008 Oct 1.
  6. Pan R, Qiu S, Lu DX, Dong J. Curcumin improves learning and memory ability and its neuroprotective mechanism in mice. Chin Med J (Engl). 2008 May 5;121(9):832-9.

 

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