Just imagine if you could protect yourself from one of the most devastating diseases, one with no known cure mind you, with just a simple spice that might be sitting in your kitchen cabinet right now.
Fortunately, scientific researchers in China have also imagined such a thing and have published their review.
All good things are possible
There is much debate and confusion presently when it comes to how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Or whether or not it is even possible.
For those of you who have been to this site before, you know I believe all good things are possible.
And thankfully there are researchers out there who agree with me and are looking for solutions we can use.
This is why I continue to scour the scientific literature for evidence and hope.
PREVENTION of Alzheimer’s disease is vital
At the time of this writing, the medical community maintains there is no cure for this debilitating, gut-wrenching disorder, which makes prevention all the more vital.
When it comes to prevention, though, the ball is in our court. There is no one beyond ourselves who can prevent disease.
You can get status updates and advice from your health professional, but the work can only be put in by you.
And the results of those status updates are determined by the work you did before you got there.
It is up to each of us to live a lifestyle that will protect us from disease and we have to take the active steps necessary to accomplish that.
(Check out my article “Health Care is Never Free” for more on this very important topic.)
Prevention is vital when it comes to any disease, but Alzheimer’s is an even more special case.
With many ailments, you still have the ability to attack them yourself after you’ve been diagnosed.
With a disease such as Alzheimer’s that results in symptoms such as confusion, forgetfulness, lack of drive to be active, etc., it becomes immensely more difficult to deal with after diagnosis.
Treatment plans tend to fall into the “management of the disease” type at this point, and much of it falls on loved ones to handle.
So, with such a vital need for prevention in mind, let’s take a look at one nutrient that might be able to help us prevent Alzheimer’s disease – and perhaps even treat it as well.
Can Curcumin Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
Curcumin, one of the main constituents of the popular spice turmeric, is one of the most widely studied natural compounds for its health-promoting and disease-fighting properties.
And for good reason.
Let’s take a quick look at how curcumin can possibly help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Curcumin and its ability to protect the brain
Researchers in China published a review in the journal Neural Regeneration Research summarizing the scientific findings regarding curcumin’s ability to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers noted that curcumin has been shown to target a number of different inflammatory pathways in the brain.
To get technical, studies have shown curcumin to:
- reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines
- lessen neurotoxicity and its related inflammatory response
- contribute to the rescue of behavioral defects in animal models
- chelate metal ions (increased concentrations of metals like aluminum have been found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s.)
- and perhaps most importantly, help inhibit amyloid beta protein aggregation, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease
Studies have also found curcumin to prevent oxidative stress due to its high antioxidant capacity.
And lastly, it has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce cognitive impairment.
All very good things if you are trying to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Or if you are just trying to have a healthy brain!
Because of these factors, the researchers have concluded that there is scientific evidence for the use of curcumin to prevent and/or treat Alzheimer’s disease.
They specifically noted that “curcumin has been shown to effectively maintain the normal structure and function of cerebral vessels, mitochondria, and synapses, reduce risk factors for a variety of chronic diseases, and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease“.
Talk about exciting findings for those of us looking for a possible dietary intervention in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological ailments for that matter!
Some notes on applying curcumin
Although curcumin has been shown in almost countless scientific studies at this point to help with a who’s who list of ailments and conditions, application of this nutrient can still be a challenge.
Especially when it comes to using curcumin to treat the brain.
First of all, there is not much in the way of human studies using curcumin directly as a treatment against Alzheimer’s disease, so there is little information or precedent to go off of there.
On this, we may need to go it on our own.
Secondly, much of curcumin is eliminated in the digestive tract, meaning not as much of what you consume will actually make its way to the brain.
So what do we do? Is taking curcumin or turmeric for health benefits a waste of time?
But getting the curcumin to the brain is the most important factor when using it to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Some suggest using a form of liposomal curcumin (curcumin wrapped inside a fat molecule small enough to be transported across the blood-brain barrier), which might be effective – if you can find it of course.
If you can’t, that’s okay as well.
We are talking about prevention here, so just getting some into your system on a regular basis can be much more helpful than not getting any at all.
How can you take curcumin?
Because of its astounding health benefits, curcumin is sold in a wide variety of different forms these days: capsules, tinctures, even beverages.
You can also get curcumin from the spice turmeric, of which it is one of the main constituents.
And while this should go without saying, always consult your licensed health care professional before starting or changing any treatment programs. And if you are allergic to curcumin, turmeric, or any other food/supplement discussed on this website, do not consume it!
There are a lot of natural foods and compounds in the natural world and we are learning more and more about their abilities to supercharge our health every day. So keep your eyes open for more as we learn more about them!
Pursuit of Great will be on the lookout for them, so check back here often, take a look at our other articles, and be sure to subscribe!
And as always, here’s to your health!
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