Feeds

Curry may combat Alzheimer's

Here you go, grandad, get your laughing gear round this phal

High performance access to file storage

US researchers have isolated a compound in turmeric - commonly used in the UK's national dish chicken tikka masala and other more deadly curry concoctions - which "may help stimulate immune system cells that gobble up the brain-clogging proteins that mark Alzheimer's disease", Reuters reports.

Dr Milan Fiala of the University of California Los Angeles and colleagues note in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they'd already shown that curcumin "may affect the brain cells of Alzheimer's patients", but wanted to pinpoint the "precise factor" responsible.

They eventually fingered bisdemethoxycurcumin, and blood samples from Alzheimer's patients demonstrated that it "boosted immune cells called macrophages to clear a protein called amyloid beta, which clogs the brains of Alzheimer's patients and kills brain cells".

But before you set out a platter of steaming phal in front of grandad, note that the researchers are not certain if it's possible to eat enough curcumin to kick off a positive reaction, despite previous studies indicating that robust curry consumption can combat Alzheimer's. They did, however, suggest that "bisdemethoxycurcumin was active at a level that could easily be achieved by infusion".

The team concluded: "Our results may provide an entirely different direction to therapeutic opportunities in Alzheimer's disease through the repair of the functional and transcriptional deficits of Alzheimer's disease macrophages by curcuminoids." ®

Bootnote

Curcumin - the principal curcuminoid (a polyphenolic compound) in turmeric - appears to be a bit of a winner. Researchers have also found that, in rats at least, it can also help prevent the formation of tumours. Oregon State Uni has a detailed analysis of the compound and its possible uses here.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.