Sunday, February 22, 2009

Curry Spice

Turmeric, the yellow spice used in curry dishes, has been shown to have potent anti-inflammation properties. The active substance in turmeric is the phytochemical curcumin, which seems to suppress inflammation-related cytokines and the enzyme cyclooxgenase-2 (COX-2) and is a more potent antioxidant than vitamin E.

Curcumin can prevent memory deficits, which sets the stage for testing curcumin as a possible agent for preventing Alzheimer's disease.

Both curcumin and ibuprofen reduced the development of brainplaques (which are associated with Alzheimer's disease) - but curcumin also controlled oxidative damage. This means that eating foods with turmeric may actually help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Curcumin may prevent tumor growth by inhibiting some inflammatory chemicals (specifically, interleukin-8).

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