CURCUMIN, WHICH IS extracted from the turmeric root, could help reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s Disease in later years, a new study has shown.
The research was carried out on fruit flies by a team in Linkoping University in Sweden and is reported on in the PLoS ONE journal.
The team behind the research say that curcumin has been “reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activity thus preventing tissue damage”.
The team decided to see what the affects of curcumin would be on Alzheimers Disease-related symptoms in fruit flies.
They fed various concentrations of curcumin in a yeast paste to the control flies.
The team looked at deposits of amyloid peptide, which it is said curcumin can help remove. These deposits are thought to damage the wiring in the brain, leading to Alzheimers.
The curcumin acelerated the formation of nerve fibres by reducing the amount of their precursor forms, called oligomers.
Professor Per Hammarstrom said that the results confirm that the oligomers are most harmful to the nerve cells and that encapuslating them is a “new and exciting treatment strategy”, says The Telegraph.
Control flies showed an activity decrease with increased age and the team said they demonstrated that curcumin exerts a general neuroprotective effect for certain transgenes in the flies.
It is plausible that the apparent toxicity of curcumin within [the fruit flies], which appears to be absent for mammalian cells, does suggest that the neuroprotective effect of curcumin can be even stronger than that reported here.
The researchers said the main drawback for curcumin as a drug for treatment of AD “appears to be the poor bioavailability and stability in solution”, and that it is “encouraging that curcumin analogues are synthesised as candidate drugs towards AD”.