Alzheimer’s affects one in eight Americans over the age of 65. India has one of the lowest occurrences of the disease anywhere in the world. The rate of incidence of the disease in the United States over four times that found in India. The reason for this may be linked to something in the diet. Specifically, a chemical called cucumin found in tumeric, a spice found in many curry powders.
It was believed by alternative medicine practitioners in the past that curry held benefits for patients studying from the disease, but a recent study proves that cucumin helps the immune system of the body remove a protein called amaloid beta. Amaloid beta is the protein responsible for forming plaques in the brain. Macrophages, a cell of the immune system that aids in clearing of the destructive protein, stops working properly in patients with the disease. Cucumin
The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Medicine, fed curry powder containing cucumin to mice with the Alzhiemer’s Plaques. The mice fed the powder showed an improvement in their condition not present in the animals not given the same powder.
The studies conducted in mice on the past have recently been confirmed and a new study has been published by the National Academy of Sciences. Cucumin has long been known to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as being rich in antioxidants. Hindu medical professionals have long proscibed curry to help reduce swelling brought on by injuries or infections. Rheumatoid arthritis patients have been shown to benefit significantly from taking 200 milligrams of the chemical and report a decrease in joint pain and stiffness in the joints after waking up. Other researchers have also linked consumption of foods containing the chemical to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer.
In addition to its other potential benefits, eating curry may boost your brain power. Whether this is due to removing a chemical harmful to the brain or some other property like the benefits of fish for the brain was not in the scope of the research done for this article. So if you enjoy eating curry, go ahead. The stuff is good for you. Personally I think I’ll concentrate on the health benefits of eating chocolate.
“Curry’s Benefits Studied.” Rallie Mcallister. The Daily Item. August 7, 2007. Sunbury, PA