As our population ages the concern about overall aging has intensified. The most critical component to healthy aging is the health of our brains.
Five conditions affecting the brain account for a vast majority of the diseases common to the aging brain. These conditions are:
- Depression and the closely associated anxiety– together these account for about 25% of the population and are usually seen in the 15 year old to 44 year old segment of the population
- Alzheimer’s Disease which affects about 5 ½ million Americans and is increasing with our aging population. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the US
- Parkinson’s Disease- about one million people live with Parkinson’s Disease in the US with 60,000 new cases per year
- Strokes- approximately 800K people in the US suffer strokes every year. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the US
- Brain Cancer- 80K cases are diagnosed per year in the US
All five of these conditions have two common causative factors- inflammation (excessive white blood flow into an area of the body as a response to an irritant) and oxidative stress (degeneration causing disease, illness and aging). These two factors contribute to the above factors causing brain degeneration and illness.
Ongoing research on these 5 conditions is fortunately showing great clinical results to the use of a natural herb- curcumin.
Let us look at the 5 most common brain conditions and how curcumin is showing great promise on each of them.
Depression is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and brain cell (neurons and glial cells) damage. 1000mg / day of curcumin has shown great promise in reversing depression and when combined with bioperine has reduced anxiety significantly over 6 clinical trials.
It is now known that curcumin effects on depression and anxiety are through the decrease in inflammation and oxidation.
Unlike medications for anxiety and depression curcumin shows no unwanted side effects and has been researched as an antianxiety or antidepression medication.
Curcumin (1500mg / day) is now showing results over 12 months time frame in halting cognitive decline when compared to placebo groups. The action is thought to be that curcumin decreases blood triglycerides and the formation of amyloid plaques which both contribute to AD.
Curcumin has been shown to improve synapses (nerve cell communications), insulin signaling and inhibits the enzyme that destroys acetylcholine, the chemical for memory.
The effects of curcumin will greatly decrease the development and progression of AD.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
The use of Curcumin not only decreases brain toxicity but protects cells which would normally die with developing PD. Curcumin also increases the amount of Dopamine, the neurotransmitter whose loss is consistent with PD and improves mitochondria formation in brain cells.
Treating a client before and after either an ischemic stroke (blood
deprivation stroke) or when blood flows back into an area of the brain
(reperfusion) with curcumin decrease
s the brain damage.
It was found that curcumin decreases inflammation, reduces brain cell damage and increases brain cell mitochondria all associated with recovery after a stroke. The result is that stroke damage of the brain is rapidly healed with treatment by curcumin.
Brain tumors are highly feared because the victims rarely live more than 20 months after diagnosis.
Curcumin has been shown to target and kill cancer stem cells which stop cancer cells from multiplying. Curcumin also makes brain tumor cells more sensitive to chemotherapy so brain tumors are more effectively treated when concurrently treated with curcumin.
Not only has curcumin been shown to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain but induce both dendrites (nerve cell projections toward other nerve cells) and new brain cells.
These actions together increase brain plasticity or the brain’s adaptation to an ever changing environment. Curcumin does this by regulating the release in the brain of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is our brain protection factor.
The sooner you begin taking curcumin the more brain protection and recovery you will experience.
The bottom line is that curcumin will increase memory, improve learning, help brain recovery from trauma and illness and treat every day depression and anxiety.
Always remember to Enjoy the Journey,