Turmeric and Alzheimers is a popular internet search term for good reason – because of ample evidence that it can be effective in preventing and treating the condition. In this article, we summarize an explanation of this disease and how turmeric can be useful.
The incidence of Alzheimer’s among Western populations is increasing and has been for quite some time. According to the Alzheimers Association, 5.8 million Americans suffer currently and by 2050 over 14 million Americans will be living with the disease. Alzheimer’s is now the leading cause of death in the UK.
You may know someone in your family who is currently suffering, or perhaps you are personally concerned about susceptibility. The prospect of contracting this dreaded condition is terrifying, as it almost always results in premature mortality.
However, there ARE actions one may take to reduce the probability of contracting this heartbreaking and debilitating disease. One such action is the incorporation of turmeric into your daily diet and supplementation regimen. Keep reading for an explanation of how to benefit.
What is Alzheimer’s?
There is no definitive consensus on the source of Alzheimer’s disease, at least not among the allopathic medical profession; but many evidence-based practitioners believe one common source is long term exposure to heavy metal poisoning, especially aluminum.
It is important to note that some distinctive physiological changes occur in the brain with the onset of this disease. One is the buildup of neurotoxic amyloid plaque similar to the way plaque can accumulate in arteries. This buildup can lead to dysfunctional neuron pathways that affect everything from motor function to memory.
Another known issue is called tangles which occur when dying brain cells tangle up and disrupt intercellular communication among other functioning brain cells. This essentially slows down cellular reaction and response time in the same manner that detours and road traffic will slow down a road trip.
The good news is that turmeric is believed to address each of these conditions. The evidence for turmeric’s use in the prevention of both plaque and tangles is strong, and it may even be able to assist in the reversal of these conditions.
How Turmeric Can Help Prevent Alzheimers
Both plaque and tangles are caused by unnatural interactions of certain proteins which turmeric has the ability to block. In other words, turmeric helps prevent the harmful accumulation of certain proteins in the brain that can impair cognitive function.
Furthermore, turmeric is well known for its ability to reverse inflammation throughout all parts of the body. When any body part is inflamed the healing process is impaired, so if inflammation can be prevented in the brain this is obviously something worth pursuing.
Finally, turmeric is a well-known antioxidant with properties allowing it to block certain harmful oxidating molecules that are known to accelerate the aging process and the formation of cancer cells. When a body is healthy and blocking harmful oxidation molecules the healing processes and natural ability to stay well are optimized. You won’t be as susceptible to diseases – neurological or otherwise.
Turmeric and Alzheimers – Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier
Crossing the blood-brain barrier is one of turmeric’s superpowers. This means turmeric’s healing compounds can pass between and through the tightly guarded cells of blood vessels inside the brain. The short video below explains the blood-brain barrier and how it wards off harmful substances while allowing beneficial substances like the curcuminoid compounds to enter.
Once turmeric molecules pass through the barrier they can promote brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth hormone specific to the brain. BDNF facilitates new neuronal connections even as we age. A decline in BDNF inhibits new neuronal formations and is linked to many brain disorders. By increasing BDNF, turmeric is effective in promoting recovery from damage caused by Alzheimer’s.
How Can Turmeric Help Reverse Alzheimers
While turmeric may not be able to reverse Alzheimer’s entirely, studies indicate it is capable of lessening the effects, which it does in the same manner that it prevents onset. This is accomplished by 1) fighting the buildup of plaque in the brain, 2) clearing out plaque that may already be present, and 3) providing an ever-present source-of-reduction to inflammation.
Turmeric is also thought to be able to protect and preserve nerve cells that Alzheimer’s would otherwise cause to atrophy and die off. It does this by activating certain beneficial proteins.
If heavy metals are, in fact, a contributing factor to brain degeneration you’ll be interested in knowing that turmeric has the ability to chelate. This means it can bind with metal particles located throughout the body and facilitate the natural release of these toxins via the body’s various excretory processes.
Once the body is contaminated with heavy metals it is extremely difficult to rid this toxin and there are only a few substances that possess this unique ability. Turmeric is one such substance.
Tips on Usage
The research is still relatively new on treatment when it comes to turmeric and Alzheimers, and it will likely take several months of diligent use to see measurable improvement. If you intend to start taking turmeric as a supplement try to ingest a minimum of at least 1 gram (1000 mg) per day to increase the probability of positive results. The Turmeric Guru regular takes over four times this amount daily.
You can take turmeric as a supplement in capsule form or use it in the preparation of almost any food. One popular way to consume is called turmeric golden paste which is essentially coconut oil, black pepper, and turmeric, and can be consumed alone or added to foods and beverages. When prepared in this manner with an oil and black pepper it maximizes the bioavailability of turmeric’s curcuminoid compounds.
It is unlikely that this common spice will cause any side effects, but if it does, discontinue use and visit your health care professional for advice. It could be a simple matter of the turmeric interfering with a prescription you are taking.
Other Tips – Turmeric and Alzheimers
If there is a history of Alzheimer’s or dementia in your family, this may be good preventative medicine for you or someone you love. Since turmeric has so many beneficial health properties overall it’s likely to improve your health in one way or another.
Preventive care is so important and integrating a spice into one’s diet is such an easy step to take – especially a spice which has such a pleasant taste and is so affordable.
Regions of the world in which turmeric grows naturally have been using it in much of their cuisine for centuries. It should come as no surprise that these regions have the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world.
Summary – Turmeric and Alzheimers
Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that affects an increasing percentage of Western society every year. It is now the number one cause of death in the United Kingdom. But there are ways you can reduce the risk by merely incorporating a savory spice into your daily diet. Turmeric isn’t just for curries and soups. Turmeric and its active phytonutrients in the curcuminoid complex are natural medicine. As Hippocrates is noted for saying, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”