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Curry Fights Alzheimer's - A
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Last updated May 21, 2017, originally published December  30, 2009


By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor
and Featured Columnist


For decades, scientists studying the incidences of Alzheimer's
around the world have noticed a puzzling fact.  India has the
lowest incidence of Alzheimer's in the world. In fact, several
regions in India have the lowest incidences of Alzheimer's
ever recorded.  

Digging deeper, researchers from the University of
Pittsburgh's Department of Epidemiology in 2001 studied a  
large rural population of India over a 2-year period.

The India Paradox --Why Indians Do Not Develop
Alzheimer's



























Their results were startling. Indians were not developing
Alzheimer's disease. Compared to an area of similar size and
population in the United States, the India population was
experiencing very few cases of Alzheimer's.  In fact,
Americans are 3 times more likely than Indians to develop
Alzheimer's disease.

Subsequent studies in 2005 from the UCLA's Department of
Neurology, Alzheimer Research Center, have identified the
role of curry in preventing Alzheimer's disease.

Curry is a mix of spices used in traditional Indian cooking.
Curry's yellow color is caused by curcumin (also known as
turmeric).

Curry (
in fact, curcumin) is a powerful anti-oxidant which
reduces internal inflammation and brain neuron plaque, all
preconditions to developing Alzheimer's.  


In fact, the UCLA research team, led by Dr. John Ringman,
discovered that
curry (curcumin) appears to directly bind to
a special kind of plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer's
patients called "amyloid plaque",  interfering with its function
and thereby protecting your brain.


The news gets better. Looking into the maximum levels of
curry which are safe to consume, the researchers found that
curry is well-tolerated by our bodies even at levels of 5000
milligrams.  To study the ability of patients with Alzheimer's
to tolerate high doses of curry (curcumin), the researchers
gave patients either 2000 mg or 4000 mg in two daily doses
for 24 weeks.

Update:

An earlier study in 2006 from the University of California's
Alzheimer Research Division led by Dr. John Ringman
discovered that curcumin has both anti-oxidant and anti-
inflammatory properties that help explain curry's ability to
slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. As the study
concluded:"There is substantial in-vitro data indicating that
curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-
amyloid activity."

In September of 2014, scientists from Germany found that a
compund in turmeric helps the brain to repair itself. The
study, conducted at the Institute of Neuroscience and
Medicine in Julich, Germany, fed rats a compound found in
turmeric called "aromatic-turmerone" Rats fed aromatic
turmerone grew more brain cells and their brain cells which
were damaged were healed.

How Much Curry Should You Eat?


Several studies have established that, almost unique among
foods and spices, curry appears not to be toxic or harmful,
even at extraordinarily high levels. As I noted, studies have
been conducted with levels as high as 5000 parts per million
of curcumin daily without adverse effects. Interestingly,
beneficial effects on the levels of brain plaque have also been
observed in mice treated with low doses of curcumin, as low
as 160 parts per million per day.


The only cautionary note is that at extremely high levels
some individuals may experience gastric upset, especially if
you are already prone to develop ulcers or if you have a
sensitive stomach.  


Curry also should not be taken in excess by those who are
already taking blood-thinning medications or other heart
medications, without first consulting your doctor.


If you are taking statins, for example, you should not take
curry pills, curcumin pills, or any other supplements for that
matter without first consulting the doctor who prescribed
the statins to you. The reason you should never mix curry,
curcumin or any other blood-thinning supplement with
statins is that
the combination can make your brain bleed.
The combination may cause internal bleeding in other parts
of your body as well.


Other than that, using a generous amount of curry in soups
and as a spice for chicken, spinach and other dishes is a
good way to add a dose of protection against
Alzheimer's to
your diet.

Add Black Pepper to Improve Absorption of Curry

One more thing --make sure that you add black pepper to
your curry dishes. Curry, alone, is poorly absorbed by the
body. Scientist have learned that a compound in pepper
called "piperine"  magnifies the bio-availability of curcumin.

A 2014 study from scientists at the University of Texas Md
Anderson Center found that adding pepper to curcumin
increases its bio-availability by an astonishing 2000%.
















































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