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Health StudiesHealthy FoodsImmune SystemNatural RemediesThis Ancient Spice Protects Your Brain as You Age

This Ancient Spice Protects Your Brain as You Age

One of the most frightening possibilities to contemplate is losing your memory and your cognitive ability. Unfortunately, that will be a reality for many Americans. By the time we turn 68, one in eight of us will have this experience, and by age 80, the number will rise to one in two.

Despite the efforts of researchers who have been working for years to develop a cure, or even an effective treatment, the prospects of people who experience cognitive decline remain bleak. None of the drugs that have come on the market have made much difference in the lives of those people.

There are a number of natural substances that provide protection to your brain. The herb that has shown the most promise in terms of supporting neurological function is curcumin, the antioxidant compound in turmeric root. You may recognize turmeric as the bright yellow spice often used in the preparation of Indian food. It is probably not coincidence that India has the lowest rate of cognitive decline in the world.

In certain types of cognitive decline, abnormal protein structures form in the brain. When that occurs, the immune system produces cells called macrophages, which attempt to engulf and eradicate the proteins. If this fails, the proteins then accumulate, and brain function deteriorates.

A recent clinical trial tested the effects of curcumin on people with severe cognitive decline. The blood of the subjects taking curcumin had much higher levels of dissolved abnormal proteins than that of those in the placebo group. According to the researchers, curcumin is able to effectively pass into the brain, bind to the beta-amyloid plaques and facilitate their breakdown. The effect of curcumin is profound, and unmatched by few other substances.

Inflammation in the body underlies dementia as it does many other degenerative diseases. Today many people suffer from low-grade inflammation, in part because of the standard American diet, heavy in processed foods and chemicals. People with inflammation are usually unaware until they begin experiencing early warning signs such as muscle aches and joint discomfort.

When those early symptoms appear, you might go to your doctor, who will likely misdiagnose the problem, and perhaps prescribe drugs that have only short-term benefits. But left untreated, chronic inflammation goes on to damage the body, including the brain.

Whether you take curcumin in supplement form, or find ways to incorporate it into your diet, here are the benefits you can expect:

1. Protection for your brain and cognitive function
2. Improved mental clarity and memory retention
3. Better mood balance and more energy
4. A healthier heart and more balanced cholesterol
5. Fewer aches and pains and less stiffness
6. Smoother, more youthful-looking skin
7. Support for liver health and detoxification
8. Antioxidant protection against free radicals

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