Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal actions. Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play an important role in inflammation. Turmeric is effective in reducing post-surgical inflammation. Turmeric helps to prevent atherosclerosis by reducing the formation of bloods clumps.
Curcumin inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastric ulcers and has been linked with gastric cancers.
Curcumin can bind with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, thereby reducing the toxicity of these heavy metals. This property of curcumin explains its protective action to the brain. Curcumin acts as an inhibitor for cyclooxygenase, 5-lipoxygenase and glutathione S-transferase.
Research into methods of preventing or reversing the damaging effects on the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease is heating up — namely with a common spice, turmeric, and something so simple, the sun. A new study by UCLA scientists and colleagues from UC Riverside and the Human BioMolecular Research Institute, cited in the July issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, reports findings suggesting the possibility that Vitamin D3 and a chemical, curcumin, found in the spice turmeric, might possibly not only prevent, but may help reverse damage done by the typical plaques and tangles which are characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.
The theory is that the combination of vitamin D3 and curcumin stimulate the immune system in a fashion that helps clear amyloid beta, the “gunk” that forms the damaging plaques in the brain. This small study used blood samples from Alzheimer’s patients, measuring the effects of curcumin and vitamin D3 on amyloid beta. Dr. Milan Fiala, study author and researcher, states: “We hope that vitamin D3 and curcumin, both naturally occurring nutrients, may offer new preventive and treatment possibilities for Alzheimer`s disease.”