Eat chana masala to prevent Alzheimer's!

Yes, that title is a bit ostentatious. But the foods we eat contain many compounds that can be beneficial to brain health. One strategy for optimizing our brains for long-term peak performance is to identify these compounds and discover how they are beneficial. Head-healthy chemicals have previously been isolated from curries and spices before, and it looks like we've found another curcuminoid, bisdemethoxycurcumin, which may be useful in combating Alzheimer's Disease:

Researchers have isolated bisdemethoxycurcumin, the active ingredient of curcuminoids -- a natural substance found in turmeric root -- that may help boost the immune system in clearing amyloid beta, a peptide that forms the plaques found in Alzheimer's disease. Using blood samples from Alzheimer's disease patients, researchers found that bisdemethoxycurcumin boosted immune cells called macrophages to clear amyloid beta.
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The results also suggest a new drug development approach for the disease that differs from the amyloid-beta vaccine. The new approach relies on the innate immune system, which is present at birth rather than on antibodies produced by B cells, which is a later developed part of the active immune system.

I like these strategies. Chemicals that occur naturally in the diet and which have anti-inflammatory properties can be consumed in low levels, chronically, and provide health benefits on the cheap. Combining these dietary benefits with drug-based strategies may in fact boost performance of the drugs, and if nothing else we have a new chemical structure to tinker with and hopefully provide more effective therapeutic agents in the future. Additionally, anti-inflammatory dietary factors can protect other organ systems from a myriad of inflammation-related issues that occur with aging.

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