Turmeric May Prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases
There are spices in many parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia, that are rich in botanical treasures, especially turmeric. Turmeric is referred to as “the spice of life” and has many health benefits including possible preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
As Western society evolves to become more open-minded, scientists continue to learn more and more about the health benefits of various spices and herbs as alternates to medicine.
Turmeric has the following effects and health and general benefits:
- Antihepatotoxic — it has a beneficial effect on the liver
- Antihyperlipidemic — it prevents the buildup of lipids in the blood
- Anti-inflammatory — turmeric reduces inflammation
- Antioxidant — it hunts free radicals and prevents lipid formation in the liver
- It inhibits the growth of tumors, both benign and cancerous
- Antimicrobial — it inhibits the action of bacteria
- It has a contraceptive effect
- It acts as an insect repellent
Among the various conditions for which turmeric is sometimes used are gastrointestinal problems, intermittent fever, swelling, bronchitis, colds, worms, leprosy, kidney inflammation, cystitis, headaches, chest infections, and amenorrhea (the abnormal suppression or absence of menstruation). It is often also used externally for bruising, leech bites, festering eye infections, inflammation of the oral mucosa, inflammatory skin conditions, and infected wounds.
As a known anti-inflammatory, Turmeric is widely used to ease inflammation. Inflammation takes many forms, and it can occur in many places throughout the body. One such is the brain, where Alzheimer’s disease forms. Researchers performed a study the effect of curcumin on the combined damage that occurs as a response to amyloid formation in Alzheimer’s-predisposed mice. In the study, the mice were tested with both low and high doses of dietary curcumin to determine its effect on inflammation, oxidative damage, and plaque pathology. Both the low and high doses of curcumin were found to succeed in reducing inflammation and oxidative damage.
Curcumin may also prevent Parkinson’s Diseases. The researchers noted that both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are linked to increased oxidative damage to the brain.
They hypothesized that curcumin may effectively inhibit this type of damage and that its seeming ability to target several different mechanisms which are implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease may make it a more effective agent than more potent but more specific inhibitors of any of the individual mechanisms.
To obtain turmeric and the beneficial natural curcuminoids it contains, you could eat curry every day, or you could take generous, scientifically validated amounts of the ancient Ayurvedic agent turmeric. There are many health supplements available on the market in easy to take capsule form. Please note — there are a variety of products on the market and sorting through them and selecting the best one for your needs can be confusing. Many companies trying to cash in on trends do not really care about the quality of their product, therefore their products may be ineffective. Take time and care and perform research to ensure that you are taking the right supplement for your needs. Always consult your doctor if you have any questions.
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