Curcumin, a chemical found in curry and turmeric, may help the immune system clear the brain of amyloid beta, which form the plaques found in Alzheimer's disease. And tumeric may also help prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. We should obviously all be eating more Indian food!
Using blood samples from six Alzheimer's disease patients, whose ages ranged from 65 to 84, and three healthy control patients, the researchers isolated cells called macrophages, which are the soldiers of the innate immune system and are present at birth. They travel through the brain and body, gobbling up waste products, including amyloid beta.
The team treated the macrophages with a drug derived from curcumin for 24 hours in a cell culture and then introduced amyloid beta. The macrophages from three out of six Alzheimer?s disease patients, that had been treated with curcumin, were much more efficient than macrophages not treated with curcumin. Macrophages from the healthy controls, which were already clearing away the amyloid beta, showed no change when curcumin was added to them.
Tumeric, another spice used in curry, could also help prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, according to new research. Asian doctors have long used this spice to treat inflammation.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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