Spice May Fight Alzheimer's Disease
ISLAMABAD, January 07 (Online):
The compound that gives the popular Indian spice curry
its mustard yellow color may ward off Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers at UCLA have shown that the
curry pigment curcumin slows the formation of, and even
destroys, accumulated plaque deposits in mouse brains.
Brain plaque, sticky clumps of beta-amyloid
protein, are believed to play a key role in the development
of Alzheimer's dementia.
Curry is a dietary staple in India, a country
where the rate of Alzheimer's disease is among the world's
lowest. For centuries, doctors practicing traditional
Indian medicine have safely prescribed curcumin in extract
form for a variety of illnesses and ailments.
Researchers say curry's powerful antioxidant
and anti-inflammatory properties make it a very attractive
possibility for treating diseases such as Alzheimer's,
cancer, and heart disease.
In studies looking at curcumin's potential
as a chemopreventive therapy, no side effects were seen
in patients taking as much as 2,000 to 8,000 mg per day.
For this study, scientists raised two groups
of mice, one that was fed a diet high in curcumin and
the other a regular diet. Previous research in mice has
shown that daily curcumin lowers plaque deposits in the
When fed to aged mice with advanced plaque
deposits similar to Alzheimer's disease, the curcumin
reduced the amount of plaque.
The scientists then injected curcumin into
the brains of the mice with the Alzheimer's-like condition.
The curcumin attached to the plaques, hampering further
development of plaque and reducing plaque levels.
Moreover, in other experiments, the researchers
showed that curcumin reduced plaque better than the over-the-counter
painkillers naproxen and ibuprofen. Some studies have
shown that people taking these common anti-inflammatories
have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
"The prospect of finding a safe and
effective new approach to both prevention and treatment
of Alzheimer's disease is tremendously exciting,"
Gregory Cole, MD, a professor of medicine and neurology
at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in
a news release.
Original source: http://www.paktribune.com