Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Curry ingredient may fight Alzheimer's

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An ingredient in curry may help stimulate immune system cells that gobble up the brain-clogging proteins that mark Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They said they isolated a compound (bisdemethoxycurcumin) in turmeric, a yellow spice that gives Indian curry powder its distinctive color, that appears to stimulate a specific response against Alzheimer's symptoms.

It may be possible to infuse this compound into patients and treat the incurable and fatal brain condition, Dr. Milan Fiala of the University of California Los Angeles and colleagues said.

Other research has shown that curcumin, an antioxidant found in turmeric, can help prevent tumors from forming in the laboratory and in rats.

Some studies have suggested that people who eat a lot of curry may be less prone to cancer and Alzheimer's, but whether curry is responsible is unclear. Link

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