Inﬂammation is the bodyʼs natural defense against injuries and invading pathogens. The body uses a combination of heightened body temperature, free radicals, proteins and powerful macrophage cells to attack internal dangers and promote healing.
In looking for safe, natural ways to help reduce the effects of systemic inﬂammation, one particular culinary spice is gaining much attention. Curcumin, the pigment that gives the ﬁrey Indian dish curry its signature yellow colour, has a long tradition of anti-inﬂammatory use and a present and future as one of the most research backed nutraceuticals on the
market. there have been over 2,400 scientiﬁc reviews of curcumin, many showing its potential as an anti-inﬂammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, immune-modulator and cholesterol lowering nutrient.
New studies have found that: using the power of the evolving science of epigenetics to reveal how curcumin is crucial in the fight against many forms of cancer, as it causes metastatic cells to undergo programmed cell death, or apoptosis.
Researchers from Michigan State University, publishing the result of a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry have found that this amazing natural compound is able to prevent the destructive formation of alpha-synuclein proteins that are the hallmark presentation in many neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Curcumin is one a very select group of structures that is able to cross the delicate blood-brain barrier to affect biochemical and electrical activities in the brain. The turmeric derivative has demonstrated the unique capability to prevent clumping or aggregation leading to disease development.
Curcumin aids protein folding to prevent brain tangles and degeneration
The team lead researcher, Dr. Basir Ahmad and scientists conducting the study commented "Our research shows that curcumin can rescue proteins from aggregation, the first steps of many debilitating diseases... more specifically, curcumin binds strongly to alpha- synuclein and prevents aggregation at body temperatures."
The team used precise lasers to study the split-second formation of proteins known as 'protein folding'. Normally, proteins are folded at lightning fast speed at the direction of genes and DNA sequences. Damage to DNA caused by poor diet and lifestyle factors from epigenetic alterations results in mis-folded proteins and neurodegenerative disease.
Researchers found that when curcumin attaches to alpha-synuclein it not only stops clumping, but it also raises the protein's folding or reconfiguration rate. By slowing the speed that the proteins form, curcumin effectively inhibits abnormal protein clumping to prevent tangles and damage to the nerve synapses. Chemical and electrical communications are retained that help to help prevent the early manifestation of Parkinson's disease.
Curcumin can be added to the diet with liberal use of the Indian curry spice in meal preparation. Many people do not enjoy the taste of curry infused foods. For those individuals, nutrition advisors recommend a standardized supplement (std. to 95% total curcuminoids for maximum bioavailability) providing 300 to 500 mg daily to prevent neurodegenerative decline.
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Fight Fire with Fire! Curcumin vs. Inflammation
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February 21st, 2012 at 1:37pm | Last Updated March 29th, 2012 at 10:46am