Feeds

Curry may combat Alzheimer's

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

Application security programs and practises

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.