Alzheımer’s Turmeric: Protection Against Alzheimer’s
Turmeric is an indispensable part of the kitchen and naturopathic therapy of most diseases. The main active ingredient of the yellow root – curcumin – is very helpful, especially for chronic inflammatory diseases thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect. Alzheimer’s disease is also associated with inflammatory processes, so turmeric can also be used – both in prevention and in therapy. Extensive research has long shown how well turmeric can protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), also known as turmeric , is a spice that has been used for at least 2,500 years in India, Asia and the Middle East. Throughout its history, it was first used as a colorant and seasoning food.
Only later did one discover its impressive medicinal properties. In traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda , turmeric has therefore been used for centuries – especially as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent for skin and muscle problems.
In the meantime, more than 1000 studies have shown that turmeric or its active substance, curcumin, actually has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and also has anti- cancer , anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.
Alzheimer’s research has become more and more of a focus in recent years. Here, too, turmeric shows promising results and clearly seems to be able to protect against Alzheimer’s .
The more turmeric is consumed, the less likely Alzheimer’s to occur
Countries in which turmeric is cooked daily have a noticeably low Alzheimer’s rate. People there are less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease there . For example, comparing the US Alzheimer’s number with that in India, one finds that in the US 70-79 year-olds, 4.4 times more people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease than in India.
In a study from 2006 showed based on 1,010 study participants that those people (60-93 years) who regularly curry eating (curry contains a lot of turmeric), have better cognitive function than those who never resort to this spice.
The explanation for these relationships is quite simple: Alzheimer’s disease causes chronic inflammation in the brain , increased oxidative stress (damage caused by free radicals), increased metal deposits and the formation of almuth-specific beta-amyloid deposits. As a result, it breaks down the nerve cells in the brain. Curcumin, however, is cerebral, so it can cross the blood-brain barrier and positively influence all of the above brain changes :
How turmeric protects against Alzheimer’s
The mechanisms by which turmeric or its active substance curcumin can protect the brain against inflammation, oxidative stress, metals and deposits have long been known:
1. Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect
Curcumin from turmeric is anti-inflammatory through many different steps. For example, via the inhibition of cyclooxygenase as well as an inhibition of phospholipase. Both compounds are enzymes that can accelerate inflammatory processes and are located in remarkably high levels in neurons in Alzheimer’s disease.
The phospholipase is also responsible for the release and activation of the pro-inflammatory fatty acid arachidonic acid. If the two enzymes are now inhibited in their activity thanks to curcumin, the existing inflammation also decreases.
In addition, curcumin is involved in many other anti-inflammatory processes in the body. For example, it inhibits the activity of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1, interleukin-6 and TNF (tumor necrosis factor-alpha).
2. Turmeric reduces deposits in the brain
In a study from the University of California , Los Angeles, it was found that curcumin helps the immune system’s phagocytes (macrophages) to dissolve Alzheimer’s so typical beta-amyloid plaques faster and more comprehensively. The following applies: Lower curcumin doses taken over a long-term period are more effective than high curcumin doses.
In another attempt on this subject, the blood of Alzheimer’s patients was supplemented with curcumin, then beta-amyloid was added (the protein that makes up the deposits in the Alzheimer’s brain). In the presence of curcumin, the phagocytes were very well able to take up and dissolve the beta-amyloid. In the control group (blood without curcumin), however, the phagocytes worked much more cumbersome.
3. Turmeric binds harmful metals
Investigations have shown that metals (copper, zinc , iron , cadmium, lead, etc.) accumulate in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, where they not only increase oxidative stress, but also promote the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. Experimentally used chelating agents (substances that bind and release metals) actually showed an anti-Alzheimer’s effect and protected them from the neurotoxic metals.
Curcumin also has metal-binding properties. It binds the excess metals in the brain, thus protecting the nerve cells and preventing the disease from progressing. Here we explain how turmeric can also help in the discharge of mercury: turmeric in dentistry (section: Turmeric for the discharge of mercury).
4. Turmeric has an antioxidant effect
Turmeric has an antioxidant effect. This property first causes the levels of the body’s own antioxidants to rise. The body’s own antioxidants include superoxide dismutase, heme oxygenase and glutathione . They all reduce oxidative stress and markedly reduce the number of circulating free radicals.
Free radicals have long been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but also with the development of other degenerative diseases of the nervous system, such as. Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease . The fight against free radicals is therefore at the forefront of these problems, whereby curcumin can be used very concomitantly.
In addition, there is a decrease in lipid peroxidation under the influence of curcumine – as shown, for example, by a study by the Indian Jawaharlal Nehru University . During lipid peroxidation, endogenous lipids are oxidized by free radicals. If the lipids are in the cell membrane, then it comes to cell damage – of course, in the brain.
Oxidized lipids are also responsible for arteriosclerotic deposits on the blood vessel walls, so that curcumin, of course, not only protects the brain, but keeps the whole blood circulation system healthy, lowers LDL cholesterol levels (or prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation), and reduces the risk of heart attacks , thrombosis and embolism.
At the same time thanks to the antioxidant effect of curcumin, the age-typical accumulation of so-called lipofuscin goes back. These are protein and lipid-containing deposits. They are caused by oxidative stress and are observed with increasing age in various body cells, especially in the heart muscle and liver cells, but also in the eye and nerve cells of the brain, where they can lead to cell death over time.
Last but not least, curcumin can also protect the mitochondria (energy centers) of cells in the brain against various sources of oxidative stress (eg against peroxynitrite, a reactive nitrogen compound), so that more energy is available to nerve cells than would be the case without curcumin. Of course, more energy means more power and a higher level of regeneration.
5. Turmeric protects nerve cells in the brain
Turmeric also directly influences the function and activity of so-called glial cells . This term includes in the brain all cells that do not belong to the nerve cells. Glial cells, on the other hand, protect and supply the nerve cells. A special form of glial cells is called oligodendrocytes. These cells form the so-called myelin sheath, the isolation layer of nerve cells in the brain. Damage to the myelin sheath causes long-term dying of the nerve cells concerned.
Curcumin now leads to an increased formation and activity of the oligodendrocytes, so that the nerve cells are also better protected and the myelin sheaths can be repaired in time. In addition, curcumin prevents excess glial cell growth, which occurs when nerve cells die and glial cells (of the microglial cell type) try to take their place. Since glial cells do not have nerve cell function, their proliferation would lead to cognitive disorders, behavioral disorders, and other symptoms associated with brain diseases.
At the same time, a chronic hyperactivity of the microglial cells in turn ensures a release of inflammatory messengers (cytokines) and other substances, which in turn would contribute to the strengthening of amyloid deposits.
Even a minimal dose of curcumid seems to inhibit these activities. However, the inhibitory effect increases here with the ingested curcumin dose – as a study of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles showed.
Turmeric – The application
Turmeric, in view of all these beneficial effects and properties, is an important component of holistic Alzheimer’s prevention and therapy. It is particularly pleasant that turmeric is available everywhere (as a powder or as a fresh root) and can be easily integrated into the diet .
Since no exact turmeric dose is known, which one would necessarily have to take to achieve this or that effect, yes even found that not even the daily intake is required to get to enjoy the turmeric properties, experimenting Just try the different recipes and try out what tastes best for you. However, the more regular and frequent you use turmeric, the better the effect!
It is also better to use turmeric several times a day so that the level of curcumin in the blood remains evenly high.
When using turmeric, in summary – if you want to get the best possible result – the following two points are important:
Especially useful for Alzheimer’s prevention is our 7-day turmeric cure, which you will also find in the book. During this course, you will learn how to take in daily relevant amounts of turmeric. Because a pinch here and there, of course, does not help much. Therefore, the recipes of the turmeric cure contain up to 8 grams of turmeric throughout the day.
Turmeric – The safe dose
Studies on the safety of turmeric are usually performed with curcumin, ie the isolated active ingredient from turmeric, not with turmeric powder or turmeric root. For example, one study found that 25 people who had taken 8 grams of curcumin daily for 3 months experienced no side effects. In other studies, even doses of up to 10 grams of curcumin were used without showing negative effects.
However, since turmeric consists only to a small extent of curcumin (to 3 to 5 percent), you can often spice generously with turmeric. Make sure, however, that turmeric tastes bitter in too large quantities. The taste alone is therefore quite safe against overdose.
In our recipe section you will find numerous recipes with turmeric – whether soups, breads, rolls, smoothies, dressings, spreads or vegetable dishes.
Turmeric to protect against Alzheimer’s – curcumin in capsules
If you do not like turmeric, but still want to do something about Alzheimer’s prevention, you can also choose turmeric or curcumin in capsule form. Always take the capsule with a fatty meal as curcumin is not water-soluble but fat-soluble.
Turmeric – Interactions with drugs and contraindications
Those who take blood thinners (including blood thinners or anti-inflammatory painkillers ) should discuss regular use of turmeric with their doctor , as the spice may also have a slight blood thinning effect and therefore may increase the effect of the medication.
If you have gallbladder or gallstone problems , you should also discuss the use of curcumin / turmeric with the doctor, as curcumin stimulates the bile flow. Doses of 20 to 40 mg of curcumin may also lead to increased gallbladder contractions, which could cause the stones to dissolve. Even though it would be premature to finally get rid of the stones, there is of course a risk of biliary colic for big stones.
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