Curry

Dr. Weeks Recommends…..

Curry

For the last few years I’ve been regularly taking turmeric and/or curcumin orals supplements daily. I also liberally add turmeric powder to my twice/thrice weekly crockpot when preparing vegetables, fish and/or poultry meals.

I do all this for a number of science-based reasons:

  • curcumin/turmeric reduces the number and size of colon polyps, and hence is a deterrent of colon cancer
  • curcumin/turmeric may prevent prostate cancer
  • curcumin/turmeric (mixed with lime juice) reverses skin cancers when applied topically
  • curcumin/turmeric is a natural, powerful, nontoxic anti-inflammatory (I have been told – by Asian Indians – that in India when a Hindu bride and groom are preparing for the marriage ceremony, both will often apply turmeric all over their bodies the week preceding the wedding. The end result after the full week – other than a bright orange stain? When finally washed from the skin, a beautiful, blemish-free, extremely radiant skin results…
  • curcumin/turmeric may effectively prevent cataracts
  • like folate, B12, B6 and trimethylglycine (TMG), curcumin dramatically lowers serum homocysteine. As homocysteine goes down, the risk of well over 100 diseases decrease as well, including heart disease, strokes, cancer, depression, arthritis, liver disease, alcohol withdrawal seizures, abnormal blood clotting and Alzheimer’s disease)
  • like N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), curcumin increases the production of glutathione, our most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying enzyme (most all people with chronic diseases have low levels of glutathione. People with low glutathione levels die more frequently and prematurely from all causes of death…) and
  • curcumin may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease (see article below)…

Curcumin/turmeric stimulates macrophages to ingest amyloid plaques in 50% of Alzheimer’s Date: October 3, 2006

Chemical Found In Curry May Help Immune System Clear Amyloid Plaques Found In Alzheimer’s Disease UCLA/VA researchers found that curcumin — a chemical found in Indian curry and turmeric — may help the immune system clear the brain of amyloid beta, which form the plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease. Published in the Oct. 9, 2006 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the early laboratory findings may lead to a new approach in treating Alzheimer’s disease by enhancing the natural function of the immune system using curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Using blood samples from six Alzheimer’s disease patients and three healthy control patients, (patients ranged in age from 65 to 84), the researchers isolated cells called macrophages, which are the immune system’s PacMen that travel through the brain and body, gobbling up waste products, including amyloid beta. According to Fiala, macrophages are the soldiers of the innate immune system — the part of the immune system which is present at birth.

The team treated the macrophages with a drug derived from curcumin for 24 hours in a cell culture and then introduced amyloid beta.

Treated macrophages from three out of six Alzheimer’s disease patients showed improved uptake or ingestion of the waste product compared to the patients’ macrophages not treated with curcumin.

Macrophages from the healthy controls, which were already effectively clearing amyloid beta, showed no change when curcumin was added.

“Curcumin improved ingestion of amyloid beta by immune cells in 50 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. These initial findings demonstrate that curcumin may help boost the immune system of specific Alzheimer’s disease patients,” said Dr. Milan Fiala, study author and a researcher with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System. Fiala noted that the patients whose immune cells responded were younger and had higher scores on a Mini-Mental State Examination suggesting that curcumin may help those with less advanced dementia.

Curcumin may support the body’s natural immune fighting function in directly helping macrophages clean away amyloid-beta. The treatment of macrophages with curcumin is radically different from some of the vaccine approaches currently being studied.

Letter from James Braley

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