Jus Herba Bumi

Curcumin has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal preparation made from turmeric or as turmeric powder used as a preservative and coloring agent in foods (yellow curry powder).

Curcumin was isolated as the major yellow pigment in turmeric, a pure chemical (diferulomethane). Curcumin’s structure is similar to other plant pigments called polyphenolics (chemicals containing muliple “phenol” groups) which often have potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and associated health benefits. Many similar plant pigments are known as potent antioxidants, for example, the pigments extracted from grapes in red wine ( resveratrol), or in green tea (catechins) or in fruit juices (blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates etc) typically contain polyphenolic antioxidants and have been studied for their possible medicinal or preventive value.

Of the many polyphenolics, curcumin is special for the following reasons:
Curcumin is the Asian version of aspirin. Our wonder drug aspirin was originally purifed from willow bark extracts that were used in European and American Indian traditional medicines to control inflammation. Eventually aspirin was synthesized by German chemists and developed by Bayer as one of the most successful drugs in the Western medicine cabinet. Today aspirin is used not only in pain remedies and other analgesic applications, but to control minor fever and inflammation and, at low doses, to prevent heart attack and stroke. Curcumin has been used in traditional Indian (Ayruvedic) and Chinese medicine for thousands of years largely because of its proven efficacy in treating conditions with inflammation. They also used it in foods as an effective food preservative, just as we use synthetic additives like BHA. These ancient civilizations have vast trial and error experience with many different herbal remedies and food preparations and they selected curcumin as a food additive and major tool for medicinal use based on efficacy- not superstition.

Curcumin has been developed by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and academic investigators around the world as a potent anti-carcinogen. Because of low toxicity and great efficacy in multiple in vitro and in vivo cancer models, curcumin was selected for further development, put through extensive toxicology testing and has successively made it through the first stages (Phase I) of clinical testing abroad and is currently in clinical trials at several sites in the U.S. All of this work by many labs has provided the basis to quickly and safely explore curcumin’s potential for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Curcumin has shown efficacy in many other pre-clinical culture and animal models for diseases related to aging and chronic treatment with related “curcuminoids” have even been able to increase the lifespan of mice.

Curcumin and Alzheimer’s Disease. Our group has tested curcumin in several models for Alzheimer’s and found that it not only reduces oxidative damage and inflammation (as expected), but also reduces amyloid accumulation and synaptic marker loss and promotes amyloid phagocytosis and clearance. Curcumin worked to prevent synaptic marker and cognitive deficits caused by amyloid peptide infusion and abeta oligomer toxicity in vitro. Our work on curcumin and AD is discussed in detail in our publications

1. Heath DD, Pruitt MA, Brenner DE, Begum AN, Frautschy SA, Rock CL. Tetrahydrocurcumin in plasma and urine: Quantitation by high performance liquid chromatography.J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2005 Jul 29; [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 16061427 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
2. Ringman JM, Frautschy SA, Cole GM, Masterman DL, Cummings JL. A potential role of the curry spice curcumin in Alzheimer's disease.Curr Alzheimer Res. 2005 Apr;2(2):131-6.PMID: 15974909 [PubMed - in process]
3. Cole GM, Morihara T, Lim GP, Yang F, Begum A, Frautschy SA. NSAID and Antioxidant Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease: Lessons from In Vitro and Animal Models.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec;1035:68-84.PMID: 15681801 [PubMed - in process]
4. Yang F, Lim GP, Begum AN, Ubeda OJ, Simmons MR, Ambegaokar SS, Chen PP, Kayed R, Glabe CG, Frautschy SA, Cole GM. Curcumin inhibits formation of amyloid beta oligomers and fibrils, binds plaques, and reduces amyloid in vivo. J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 18;280(7):5892-901. Epub 2004 Dec 7.PMID: 15590663 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
5. Frautschy SA, Hu W, Kim P, Miller SA, Chu T, Harris-White ME, Cole GM. Phenolic anti-inflammatory antioxidant reversal of Abeta-induced cognitive deficits and neuropathology. Neurobiol Aging. 2001 Nov-Dec;22(6):993-1005. PMID: 11755008 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
6. Lim GP, Chu T, Yang F, Beech W, Frautschy SA, Cole GM. Related Articles The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse.J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 1;21(21):8370-7.PMID: 11606625 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Source: http://www.healthhemi.com/assets/documents/CurcuminandAlzheimers.pdf
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