Have you heard of the Silver Tsunami? It’s a term scientists are using for a forthcoming epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease that is projected to bankrupt our health care system. The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are complex and multifactorial. However, we do know one major factor at the epicenter of the epidemic: Inflammation.
It turns out that inflammation—even outside the brain—can trigger fireworks of inflammation in the brain, causing a smoldering, self-sustaining inferno. Scientists call the phenomenon neuroinflammation.
Many believe that the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease is mild memory loss: Forgetting a name, misplacing the keys, trouble navigating. The truth is, at that point, the disease is already in full swing. In fact, it’s been building up momentum for up to 20 years. So your best defense is prevention.
Worried you’re already experiencing neuroinflammation? Then get to know a powerful botanical called curcumin.
Scientists have been consistently impressed with curcumin—the bright pigment that gives turmeric its amazing golden color. It’s not as easy as just eating turmeric though: Only 3 percent of the turmeric root contains curcumin. In other words, you’d need to eat 10,000mg of turmeric to get just 300mg of curcumin.
Here’s a closer look at what curcumin can do for your MOOD · MIND · MEMORY.
MOOD. Curcumin can help prevent neurological problems down the road. But it has plenty of short-term benefits too. Researchers have studied the effect of curcumin on depression and found it works better than Prozac in head-to-head comparisons—without the potential side effects of pharmaceutical antidepressants.
MIND. Studies have shown curcumin reduces neuroinflammation—protecting neurons from the irreversible damage that causes Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. It can also help with overall brain function, enhancing neurogenesis in the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for complex planning, personality expression, social interaction, and decision-making.
MEMORY. Researchers from UCLA have demonstrated that when they administer curcumin to people with early signs of cognitive impairment, those patients begin to regain their memory and cognition. Curcumin promotes neurogenesis in the hippocampus too. That’s the part of the brain that specializes in long-term memory and learning, among other essential functions.
Overall, the golden botanical is being hailed as a miracle compound for so many of the inflammatory conditions common today. And it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.