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Vitamin D Plus Curcumin May Treat or Prevent Alzheimer's Disease: - Article



 
Vitamin D Plus Curcumin May Treat or Prevent Alzheimer's Disease: - Article
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Vitamin D Plus Curcumin May Prevent and Treat Alzheimer's Disease.

LifeSource Vitamins


Date: 8/3/2009
Source: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease that causes severe degeneration of brain tissue. Plaque deposits accumulate in the spaces between brain cells. The cells themselves form twisted, spaghetti-like masses called "neurofibrillary tangles." Why these changes happen in the brains of some people but not others remains a matter of speculation. Scientists are unsure as to which of these abnormalities occurs first, the plaque or the tangles. What triggers them in the first place is not known for certain. One leading theory involves a protein called "amyloid" that builds up on the surface of brain cells in Alzheimer's sufferers. An especially sticky form of amyloid protein fills up the plaque deposits observed in Alzheimer's disease. As the amyloid laden plaque deposits grow, they trigger an inflammatory immune reaction that begins to destroy the surrounding brain neurons. Amyloid synthesis is controlled by an enzyme called "secretase." Researchers are now developing a class of drugs called secretase inhibitors that may be able to inhibit excess production of amyloid in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin D is known as the "sunshine" vitamin because it is formed in the body by the action of the sun's ultraviolet rays on the skin. The fat-soluble vitamin is converted in the kidneys to the hormone calcitrol, which is actually the most active form of vitamin D. The effects of this hormone are targeted at the intestines and bones.

The rhizome and root of turmeric has been used for centuries in the Indian medical practice of Ayurveda. Indian practitioners have used turmeric as a tonic for the stomach and liver and as purifier of the blood. Research suggests that turmeric may have unique anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists think the active components in turmeric, called curcuminoids, may inhibit inflammation in a manner similar to that of conventional drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin and more recently the new Cox-2 inhibitors.

New research has found that a combination of vitamin D3 and curcumin may boost the immune system and protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease. The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, included nine patients with Alzheimer's disease, one patient with mild cognitive decline and three healthy control subjects. Blood samples were taken from each of the participants and the researchers isolated the monocyte cells, which transform into macrophages and in turn boost the immune system. The macrophages were then incubated with beta-amyloid, vitamin D3 and natural or synthetic curcumin. The researchers found that the naturally occurring curcumin was poorly absorbed, which made it less effective than the synthetic curcuminoids. The results of the study indicate that curcuminoids enhance the binding of beta-amyloid to macrophages, and that vitamin D could strongly stimulate the uptake and absorption of beta-amyloid in macrophages in most of the patients. The researchers concluded that since vitamin D and curcumin appear to work differently in the immune system, it may be found that either a combination of the two or possibly each used separately may prove most effective, but that currently, they cannot recommend any specific dosage for either compound since further research is necessary.1


1 Masoumi A, Goldenson B, Ghirmai S, et al. 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D<formula>_{3}</formula> Interacts with Curcuminoids to Stimulate Amyloid-beta Clearance by Macrophages of Alzheimer's Disease Patients. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;17(3):703-717.

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Disclaimer: All the information contained throughout this website is based upon the opinion of the founder of LifeSource Vitamins, Bruce Brightman, and the entire team at LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies have been ongoing on since 1992. Other articles and information are based on the opinions of the authors, who retains the copyright as marked on the article. The information on this site is not intended to replace your health care professional, but to enhance your relationship with them. Doing your own studying and research and taking your health care into your own hands is always best, especially in partnership with your health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have any medical conditions, always consult your health care professional before taking supplements based on the information on this site.


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