I’ve long touted the health benefits of turmeric. This remarkable herb, commonly used in India for thousands of years, is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. It also protects the liver and helps to prevent tumor formation. And I can personally alzheimers helath tumeric herbsvouch for it ability to speed wound healing.

This powerful little root has also now been found to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease affecting over 5 million Americans. Symptoms range from confusion to personality changes and as the disease advances family members and loved ones are also profoundly affected.

In rural India, curry is a main component of the diet and the elderly there have the lowest incidence of Alzheimer’s in the world. Only one percent develop the disease – a statistic over four times lower than in the US. This has led researchers to study the primary ingredient in curry – turmeric.

Scientists from the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Human BioMolecular Research Institute banded together and studied blood samples from patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They found that bisdemethoxycurcumin, a phytochemical in the turmeric root, stimulated the patients’ macrophages into clearing amyloid beta, a protein which forms the brain plaques associated with the disease.

Chronic inflammation in the brain also accompanies the amyloid formation, and turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Curcumin, another component of turmeric, was studied by researchers at UCLA who found it significantly reduced Alzheimer’s related inflammation. They also discovered that the herb prevented lipid peroxidation in the brain due to its potent anti-oxidant properties.

Turmeric is known to be nontoxic and virtually free from side effects. If you’re not a fan of ethnic foods, you can still reap the rewards by taking the herb in supplement form. To get the full benefits, make sure that you’re getting the whole herb and not a standardized extract of only one component. New Chapter and HerbPharm are excellent choices. After all, we could all use a bit of extra protection from the plant kingdom.

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