CURCUMIN AND YOUR BRAIN HEALTH
A healthy brain lets you engage and communicate with the world around you, lets you innovate and create new things, and helps you establish nurturing relationships. Our brain is the reason we are considered the sharpest of all living beings.
So when the brain does not function properly, we are deeply compromised. When there is a malfunction in the ability of our bodies to use brain chemicals (known as neurotransmitters) that govern a variety of brain functions, the human mind and body’s functioning are affected. Brain cells (neurons) age with oxidative stress and brain malfunctioning occurs when brain cells begin to die, resulting in impaired memory.
The state of impaired memory is known as dementia, a degenerative brain disease. Alzheimer’s disease is probably the most familiar form of dementia accounting for 50-70% of all cases of dementia, so these terms are often used interchangeably. Alzheimer’s disease affects memory, thinking and behaviour, where people suffering from Alzheimer’s commonly experience memory loss, personality changes, anxiety, anger, and may even become violent.
According to scientists, degenerative brain disease can be prevented and controlled. According to them, curcumin, the most powerful antioxidant available in nature provides multiple benefits to the brain. It plays a role in fighting oxidative damage caused by heavy metals in the brain, such as aluminum and iron. Chronic stress is known to impact all organs of the human body including the brain. Curcumin is known to protect the brain cells (neurons) from damage caused by oxidative stress, slow the aging process of the brain, reverse the impact of chronic stress on behaviour and improve memory retention.
Amyloid build-up is a degenerative process that affects the brain, and has been strongly associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This process is characterized by protein deposits called plaques and tangles that damage and kill neurons, affecting our mental ability to learn and process new information. Tasks that were easy become difficult to perform, and in time, the mental capacity of the brain may be so severely affected that Alzheimer’s may set in.
While this kind of degeneration happens to all of us, there is a way to slow down the process so that it does not cause the brain to malfunction.Scientists believe that curcumin reduces the build-up of amyloids in the brain, helps in the growth of new brain cells, and prevents cognitive decline.
While curcumin has a number of positive consequences on brain health, the body may not benefit much if the curcumin is not made bio-available to the body. Curcumin is beneficial if its advantages are amplified with its bioavailability in the bloodstream.
Other brain-protective functions of curcumin include preventing brain tumour formation and epileptic seizures, protecting brain cells from stroke damage, countering effects of brain injury, and providing therapeutic benefits to people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Curcumin in its bio-available form, BCM-95, is one of the best way to keep the brain healthy and agile.
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Lim GP, Chu T et al. The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse. J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 1; 21 (21): 8370-77
Curcumin, The 21st Century Cure by Jan McBarron, M.D., N.D.