One of turmeric’s most well-known benefits it how it potentially helps to reduce inflammation in the body. While Alzheimer’s continues to be a topic of intense research to find a prevention and a cure, there are several studies and resources that show how turmeric may be useful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Curcumin, a key component in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. What exactly does that mean? It is known that inflammation plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, oxidative damage also plays a role in Alzheimer’s. Curcumin may help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage. In addition, a feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin may help clear these plaques.
In one published paper about the effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease, its discussed that curcumin has a potential role in the possible prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. They note that curcumin as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipophilic action may improve the cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer’s and a growing body of evidence indicates that oxidative stress, free radicals, beta amyloid, cerebral deregulation caused by bio-metal toxicity and abnormal inflammatory reactions contribute to the key event in Alzheimer’s disease pathology.
Studies on curcumin
Worldwide, there are over 1,000 published animal and human studies in which the effects of curcumin on various diseases have been examined. Studies include epidemiological, basic and clinical research.
In an article written by Michael Greger M.D. FACLM, there is a specific case where the benefits were illustrated. An 83-year-old woman started losing her memory and feeling disoriented. She started having problems taking care of herself, wandering aimlessly and became incontinent. After taking a teaspoon of turmeric per day however, her agitation, apathy, anxiety and irritability were relieved and she had less accidents. He cites several other cases that also seem to illustrate the impact of turmeric on Alzheimer’s.
In 2012, a study published in AYU, An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda, reported on three Alzheimer’s patients exhibiting irritability, anxiety, and agitation among other symptoms. Findings indicated that behavioral issues had improved significantly after being treated with less than a gram of turmeric daily for a period of three months. The study concluded turmeric, when combined with routine therapy, increased quality of life and improved performance of activities of daily living in patients studied.
As mentioned before, Alzheimer’s disease is a highly-studied disease, and while there is no definitive answer for how to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s, initial studies show promise that turmeric may have a positive impact on both possible prevention and treatment. At Future Pharm, we’re dedicated to ongoing learning and studying of turmeric, and will continue to watch for new studies showcasing how turmeric may be useful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.