10 August 2009

Boost brain health by living like an Indian

Getting plenty of sun and eating curry are integral parts of Indian culture. Now scientists have found that this combination also helps guard against Alzheimer's disease.

The biochemical mechanism by which the combination works is through immune system macrophages (1). Vitamin D was found to stimulate type I and II macrophages to break down and clear beta-amyloid plaques through genomic pathways. Curcuminoids, specifically bisdemethoxycurcumin, assisted with stimulating type 1 macrophages through non-geneomic pathways.

Immune therapies to clear beta-amyloid plaque are a new approach that health scientists hope will assist in prevention and treatment of AD.

Because vitamin D and curcumin work in different ways biochemically, both may be used in therapy for most promising effects.

Apart from hereditary implications, obesity, diabetes and hypertension are all risk factors in AD. Other promising dietary interventions are caloric reduction, antioxidant intake from fruits and vegetables, and increased intake of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids.

Reference List

1. Masoumi A, Goldenson B, Ghirmai S et al. 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D_3 Interacts with Curcuminoids to Stimulate Amyloid-beta Clearance by Macrophages of Alzheimer's Disease Patients. J Alzheimers Dis 2009.

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