Who doesn’t love a good curry?
You’re probably familiar with one of the main spices used in the popular dish; turmeric.
The claimed health benefits of this colorful spice are plentiful and well documented. However, the active compound in turmeric responsible for most of those benefits, curcumin, has long frustrated scientists.
Clinical studies attempting to prove that curcumin can treat cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and more, all fall short because of one factor; the body does not easily absorb curcumin.
Researchers from three Universities published a paper this week showing that curcumin can be delivered effectively into human cells via tiny nanoparticles.
Hold up. What’s a nanoparticle?
Nanoparticles are simply microscopic particles that are made by breaking down different materials. For example, a campfire will produce a small number of carbon nanoparticles as it burns. Think really really tiny pieces of a puzzle.
Back to the curcumin.
By attaching the curcumin to nanoparticles, the team of scientists was able to increase its bioavailability by 117%. Their paper shows that nanoparticles containing curcumin not only prevented cognitive deterioration of Alzheimer’s but also reversed the damage in early trials.
“Curcumin is a compound that suppresses oxidative stress and inflammation, both key pathological factors for Alzheimer’s, and it also helps remove amyloid plaques, small fragments of protein that clump together in the brains of Alzheimer disease patients,” Co-author Professor Zhou said.
These findings pave the way for human clinical trials and further research into the healing abilities of curcumin.
For some additional reading, check out this great guide to growing your own turmeric at home.
Time for some curry!
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