Food and Nutrition

Study: Indian Spice Cuts Risk of Alzheimer's

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Recent studies indicate that turmeric, a popular Indian spice, cuts Alzheimer's symptoms by 30% in just one week. The study, published in the Journal of Neurochemistry, found that patients who took curcumin extract pills experienced a 30% decrease in Alzheimer's-related beta amyloid brain plaques. Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, and it's a powerful antioxidant. Taking curcumin extract also prevented new beta amyloid plaques from forming.

Turmeric may work even better when combined with Vitamin D. When the two substances are taken together, they trigger a kind of immune cell that can clean up beta amyloid plaques more quickly than turmeric alone.

Turmeric, which is a powder made from the ground-up turmeric root, has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical trials have suggested that the spice can help alleviate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis; inflammatory ailments like arthritis; and liver and heart disease. It may even halt the progress of cancer.

To reap the benefits of this vibrantly colored, earthy tasting spice, add it to Indian dishes, sprinkle it on Asian foods, or take it in pill form. There are plenty of turmeric supplements for sale at health food markets.