Latest News » Vitamin D and curcumin supplements may preserve memory, says study

Curcumin supplements and vitamin D3 may fight a brain plaque linked to Alzheimer's.

While vitamin D and curcumin both have ample health benefits in their own right, research has revealed that the two, when combined, may help tackle one of the greatest health concerns facing older Americans: Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this degenerative disorder currently affects one out of eight senior citizens across the country, and researchers have predicted that it will be “the defining disease” of the Baby Boomer generation.

Though a cure for Alzheimer’s disease has not been found, scientists have determined that the condition is linked to the development of amyloid plaque in the brain. As such, many studies regarding potential treatment methods have focused on either reducing this build up or preventing its formation. In recent years, academics from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) have been exploring the effects that vitamin D and curcumin supplements may have on plaque development.

The university first conducted a study on this relationship in 2009. At that time, researchers analyzed blood samples from Alzheimer’s patients who were given curcumin supplements along with vitamin D3, a specific form of vitamin D. They ultimately found that regularly taking this combination could boost the immune system in a way that made it more effective at clearing away amyloid plaque in the brain.

To better understand the processes involved – and how they may be applied to Alzheimer’s treatment in general – UCLA researchers revisited this dosage and conducted similar research in 2012.

“This new study helped clarify the key mechanisms involved, which will help us better understand the usefulness of vitamin D3 and curcumin as possible therapies for Alzheimer’s disease,”UCLA professor and study author Dr. Milan Fiala said in a press release.

As well as promoting nutrition for the brain, curcumin – the active ingredient in turmeric – has also been shown to help manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and restrict the growth of cancer cells.

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