Monday, December 12, 2011

Why is Curcumin Being Used in DS?

A few months ago there was some discussion on the DSTNI Yahoo! group regarding Curcumin and why it is being used in DS. For some, this may seem obvious, but it's not for everyone. So, I thought I would add to what I had written in the email a few months ago, since I think it'll be helpful.

Some were questioning why Curcumin was being studied at all. Turmeric (the spice which Curcumin is from) is used in India and has been for a very long time. Because of the health benefits that it has shown in use in India, there were questions as to why it was being studied.

Curcumin is not being studied because of what it does in India alone. It’s been studied for many years now. Researchers have seen things in vitro, in vivo and in mice on how Curcumin (the active ingredient of the spice, Turmeric) functions. And how it has amazing properties of: neuroprotection, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, increasing GSH levels, improving memory, inhibiting apoptosis, breaking up amyloid beta plaques & tangles, and much more.

Some researchers (many of them at UCLA’s Alzheimer's research center) have decided to take the research one step further and specifically look at it for AD. Because other studies have shown that taking only Turmeric or just plain ole Curcumin does not cross the blood-brain-barrier and is not very readily absorbed, UCLA found the most bioavailable form of Curcumin. They then took that bioavailable, somewhat easily absorbed form, and targeted it even more to get the absolute most bioavailble form of Curcumin. They then bound it to a fatty acid so that it’ll be easier to cross the BBB. This was then tested and found to actually cross the BBB and be able to do things in the brain which are helpful for AD (and many other things).

This is far different than just taking Turmeric and using it because people in India use it. Sure, the health benefits that people see in Indians using it, I'm sure has helped the research scene. But, it's not the reason that Curcumin has been studied so much.

So, because Curcumin has shown good results in vitro, in vivo and in animal studies of various health issues, including Alzheimer's disease, that's why it is now used for people with DS. There is a 50% higher incidence of AD in Down syndrome, so it's only natural that something that has shown so much promise in AD would be helpful for people with DS.

It would be great if there was a study done on Curcumin in people with DS, but that has not happened yet. Dr. Leichtman, with the help of Verdue Sciences, is looking into trying to get a study done using LC in people with DS, but it takes some time.

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curcumin said...

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Unknown said...

Interesting Article about Curcumin, although I have been using Curcucim as my daily supplements

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