At times, even with all of the research being conducted, Alzheimer's prevention or reversal of symptoms seems like a dream. Just as scientists start to work on one line of thought, new obstacles arise, either convincing them they need to tweak their research or abandon it all together in order to follow some new line of thought. So, while we hope and pray for Alzheimer's prevention, studies and their results can seem discouraging.
Now, there is promise shown by researchers at UCLA using substances already available. An article titled "Vitamin D, curcumin may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's: Early research findings may lead to new treatments for the disease," reports on research done at UCLA. Vitamin D3 (a common form in supplements and the type made by the interaction of sun and human skin), plus curcumin, which is found in the herb turmeric, are showing signs of preventing and even reversing the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
The article states, "UCLA scientists and colleagues from UC Riverside and the Human BioMolecular Research Institute have found that a form of vitamin D, together with a chemical found in turmeric spice called curcumin, may help stimulate the immune system to clear the brain of amyloid beta, which forms the plaques considered the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease."
The findings were published in the July issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Natural curcumin is readily available in stores, as is Vitamin D3. Researchers found that a synthetic curcumin is more stable than the naturally occurring compound. A quick check online will find curcumin by companies that claim it is the same as the UCLA compound, so I would check with a doctor familiar with this study for some advice. Also, while it's pretty certain that curcumin and Vitamin D3 won't hurt most people, checking with a physician who won't turn a blind eye to a study such as this may be a good idea. You may take medications that would make consuming one or both of these unwise.
The researchers also found that for some people either the Vitamin D or the cucumin worked better alone. So, working with a doctor, especially if you have Alzheimer's or are at high risk, is suggested. For those of us simply striving to stay healthy and prevent as many illnesses as possible, Vitamin D3 is looking to be a real hero. I'd read this study and thought about writing about it, but it was a question on under the ASK button here on Our Alzheimer's that convinced me that it needed more attention. This writer's doctor suggested the curcumin, citing the UCLA study as a reference.
This study gives scientific backing to products we can buy at any health food store and many drug stores. It's exciting because these compounds work with the immune system and may have far reaching effects for our health, they aren't expensive and we don't have to wait a decade to obtain them. It's especially exciting because the use of one or both may actually help reverse some damage already done. This is news that we can all greet with a huge smile.