Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Incredibly good news about turmeric....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 6-10-2014

1.  A few years ago, I read that eating foods spiced with turmeric and taking curcumin supplements that come from turmeric had a consistent track record of preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

So I began taking turmeric once a day and eating curry style spiced dishes with turmeric two or three times a week.

This is protection I want! It was then.  And, it is now.

2.  Then I happened to have a blood test of my heart risk indicators. 

I had been pleased to drop my LDL cholesterol reading from 130, a bit too high, to about 100 to 105 by eating a bit more foods like beans with soluble fiber, taking a sterol supplement, and taking a bit more niacin. 

The blood test after I began eating and taking the turmeric for several months found my LDL cholesterol was about 76 when it had been 106 the time before!

Was it the turmeric?  Yes.  I read in Dr Dean Ornish’s book, Spectrum, that turmeric had indeed been tested to lower LDL cholesterol significantly.

I was impressed because that was a big drop when my LDL was already relatively low!

3.  Then I found in the book Anti-Cancer that turmeric also was a strong anti-inflammatory and that one effect of eating or taking it was to lower high chronic inflammation.  AND, that effect prevented many cancers or sometimes helped turn off cancers!

AND, research quoted in the book found that taking or eating turmeric and curcumin with a teaspoon or two of black pepper made it more bioavailable.

And the doctor who wrote the book said the research showed the anti-inflammatory and other cancer protective effects went up 200 times!

I would have been impressed with 10 times more effective.  And, I’ve added the black pepper every time since.

So to sum up, taking curcumin or eating foods spiced with turmeric and always including black pepper helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease; by lowering LDL cholesterol AND high chronic inflammation, it helps to prevent heart disease; and it helps prevent cancer.

No wonder the doctor from Stanford, John B. (Jack) Farquhar, who founded their Institute for Research in Disease Prevention after reading some of this research firsthand, began including turmeric at every meal!

4.  You may not have known these things.  But there is even better good news!

a) Not only does doing this help clear Alzheimer’s disease damage from your brain, we now know it PREVENTS that damage to begin with!

Not only does doing this cut down your LDL cholesterol, the new research shows the LDL it removes is precisely the dangerous small particle LDL that causes heart disease that you WANT most to get rid of!

Doctor Russell Blaylock, MD is a neurologist and expert on effective methods in preventive medicine.

In an email I got last week-end he sent this:

a) “The latest research convincingly suggests that most disorders of the brain are the result of prolonged inflammation. Usually, brain disorders result from low-grade smoldering inflammation.

The inflammation can have many sources, including viral infections, inhaling exhaust fumes, toxic metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, manganese, iron, copper), minor strokes, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and brain injury.

Inflammation in the brain is triggered by a very complex series of reactions within brain cells. When the brain becomes inflamed, specialized immune cells called microglia secrete toxic chemicals including free radicals, lipid peroxidation products, excitotoxins, and immune messengers called cytokines.

These caustic chemicals slowly damage critical areas of the brain, destroying synapses (the connectors between brain cells) and dendrites (the branched ends of brain cells that transmit signals in the brain). Eventually these chemicals lead to the death of brain cells, or neurons, themselves.

The neurological disorder that develops with inflammation depends on the areas of the brain most affected. For example, in Parkinson’s disease it is the midbrain (substantia nigra and striatum).

In Alzheimer’s disease, it is the hippocampus, frontal lobes, parietal lobes, and discrete areas of the brain stem that are most affected.

Yet in all of these age-related, neurodegenerative disorders we see common changes, including:

• High levels of microglial activation

• Evidence of excitotoxicity

• Free radical damage

• Accumulation of oxidized lipids and proteins

• Elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines

The hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of nasty-looking microscopic substance called amyloid plaque.

In the past, it was thought that a special form of amyloid plaque, called fibrillated amyloid, was the culprit. Now we have learned that a special form called amyloid oligomers is most toxic to the brain.

These oligomers act like caustic balls of goo, slowly burning neurons and connections around them. The brain reacts by activating microglia (its immune cells) in the hope of removing the oligomers.

Instead, the immune cells become the problem. They begin to secrete caustic chemicals of their own — mainly inflammatory immune chemicals and excitotoxins (glutamate, aspartate, and quinolinic acid). We call this process immunoexcitotoxicity.

Immunoexcitotoxicity also occurs with head injuries, strokes, exposure to brain-toxic metals, certain pesticides/herbicides, and brain infections. It is a universal reaction when the brain is disturbed.

Curcumin has shown itself to be the king of anti-inflammatory substances, equal to the
most powerful pharmaceutical drug.

Curcumin is a flavonoid (an organic compound) extracted from the spice turmeric. It is the curcumin that gives the spice its bright yellow color. Turmeric, a native plant of Asia, is in the family of plants called Zingiberacae, and is a relative of ginger.

The spice turmeric contains a number of compounds, but the most important are the curcuminoids: curcumin, demethyoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin is the principal flavonoid in turmeric, making up 2 to 5 percent of the plant.

Turmeric is a staple of the Indian diet. Not surprisingly, colon cancer rates in India are a fraction of those in the West, and Alzheimer’s disease is one-quarter as prevalent.

Because Indians mix turmeric with fatty foods, it is absorbed very well.”

b)  As I’ve posted quite often, research done at Harvard found that your level of triglycerides closely tracks – as in almost identical to – the level of the dangerous small particle LDL that causes heart disease directly by being so tiny it enters the cracks in your blood vessel walls and harms them.

Then your body releases inflammatory compounds and works to patch over the damage causing the buildup of plaque which tends to harden and to close the blood vessel over time.

That means that if you find something that slams down your level of triglycerides, it is extremely heart protective.

In a health email from a Chiropractor I once went to, this piece of news showed up last weekend also!

“Previous research showed turmeric and curcumin also fight inflammation and oxidative damage--two processes that help a number of diseases to appear and develop, including Type 2 diabetes.

One study published in the journal Nutrition showed how turmeric normalizes insulin and triglyceride levels while boosting anti-oxidant defenses. Triglycerides are a type of fat.

Turmeric keeps triglyceride and insulin levels low, effectively reducing the risk for numerous health conditions like metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes.

The Nutrition study conductor, Shelia West, found that levels of triglycerides decrease about one-third in a meal prepared with the spice. The decrease occurred even when oily sauces high in fat were consumed.”

I was impressed with turmeric and curcumin before these two pieces of good news.

Now what was a supplement and spice I thought important has become one of my strongest recommendations to anyone wanting good health!

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