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Brain Care Basics
Brain Fog, Brain Cells and Alzheimer's
Experience a little brain fog these
days and you're likely to panic. After all, it's the sharp brains that keep their jobs in a downsizing economy. And
the human brain's been getting in some trouble lately.
Keeping brain function and good brain health going in a world where the incidence of Alzheimer's Disease is growing
exponentially is a challenge. In 2050, ADI (Alzheimer's Disease International, a consortium of 73 Alzheimer's
organizations) predicts nearly a million new cases every year.
Right now 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and every 70 seconds someone in America develops the
What's going on?
To summarize: The human brain weighs only three pounds and is composed of some 100 billion neurons that connect
with each other in a network of trillions of synapses. This is where something goes horribly wrong for some people,
especially in later life. Their neurons turn into plaques and tangles filled with brain amyloid deposits. This
amyloid plaque is not friendly to the brain's nerve cells, or neurons. The result is Alzheimer's Disease with its
loss of memory, thinking and language skills and behavioral changes. Scarey stuff, and information that could leave
one feeling terrified and powerless.
But wait - are there things we can do to reduce our chances that we will turn into one of those statistics? Short
answer: it looks like it.
For example, Alzheimer prevalence is among the lowest in India: among Indian adults ages 70-79, Alzheimer incidence
is 4.4 times less than the rate in the United States. How come?
A UCLA-Veterans Affairs study suggests that curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric and curry spice, inhibits the
accumulation of destructive beta amyloid in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and also breaks up existing plaques.
They even report that curcurmin is more effective in inhibiting formation of the Alzheimer protein fragments (beta
amyloid) than many other drugs being tested as Alzheimer's treatments. The researchers found the low molecular
weight and polar structure of curcumin allow it to penetrate the blood-brain barrier effectively and bind to beta
This certainly bears out my experience clinically. I've used a medicinal liquid Turmeric 1:1 (from MediHerb,
Australia) from Curcuma longa rhizome 5 g) at 5 cc once or twice a day with great results, usually within a
The typical diet in India contains lots of this substance from the spices they use - turmeric and curry. So even if
you don't have access to medicinal quality Turmeric, sounds like your brain health would benefit greatly from
adding it to your food.
BetterHealthBytes is a free, independent, online newsletter with insider tips for greater
health and well-being of body, mind, spirit, emotions and relationships. We welcome topic requests. Go to
Pamela Levin. R.N.
September 26, 2011
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