Curcumin, a derivative of the aromatic spice turmeric, may help repair the brains of people with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
In recent scientific tests on rats, turmerones – botanical compounds in curcumin that enhance its absorption – promoted the proliferation of brain stem cells and their development into neurons.
It could now help scientists develop treatments for conditions in people in which brain cells are lost, including Alzheimer’s and stroke, according to an article in Stem Cell Research and Therapy.
Lead researcher Dr Adele Rueger, from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Julich, Germany, said: “While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine.”
At certain concentrations, the turmeric compound boosted the proliferation of rat foetal NSCs by up to 80 per cent, and increased the speed at which they matured.
In living rats, injections of aromatic turmerone led to the expansion of two key brain regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ) and hippocampus.
Facts about curcumin
- One of today’s most promising natural disease-fighting agents is curcumin. Derived from the curry spice turmeric, curcumin has been used for millennia to target disease and promote good health.
- Most commercially available preparations of curcumin have very poor bioavailability, impairing their ability to confer life-sustaining properties.
- Scientists have recently discovered a novel curcumin preparation with exceptional bioavailability. In a human study, this advanced curcumin preparation—termed BCM-95®—delivered up to seven times more curcumin to the bloodstream than a standard curcumin product. This increased bioavailability should greatly enhance curcumin’s benefits.
- Curcumin promotes health by diverse mechanisms. Scientists have documented curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, neuroprotective, cancer-fighting, and immune-enhancing abilities.
- Studies suggest that curcumin may help prevent or fight prostate, pancreatic, breast, and colon cancers.
- Curcumin may help protect the brain against the devastating consequences of stroke and exposure to toxic heavy metals.
- Individuals who consume more curcumin-rich curry are less likely to experience cognitive decline, suggesting curcumin could help protect the nervous system against aging. In laboratory and animal models, curcumin shows promise in preventing the pathological changes seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.
Advanced Bio-Curcmin with Ginger & Turmerones contains BCM-95, a patented bioenhanced preparation of curcmin that has been shown to reach up to 7 times higher concentration in the blood that standard curcumin.
What is dementia? The Alzheimer’s Society explains in this video: