Curcumin and vitamin D may help slow Alzheimer’s disease, in one new study.
Doctors in an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) study explained that while they do not know what causes AD, they do know that in healthy people, the immune system keeps abnormal proteins from building up in the brain. In AD, the immune system malfunctions and allows the proteins to form deposits in brain tissue.
In the study, researchers tried to improve the immune system of AD patients by studying immune stimulation of white blood cells by vitamin D3 combined with curcuminoids. Scientists took blood samples from nine participants with AD and in a lab, incubated the white blood cells with the abnormal proteins and then added vitamin D3 and curcumin-like compounds called curcuminoids.
Doctors found that the curcuminoids helped the white blood cells bind with the proteins and that vitamin D accelerated how quickly the white blood cells absorbed the proteins in most of the tests.
The researchers believe that there are two types of AD, one which responds well to curcuminoids and one that does not. Scientists think the difference may be the presence or absence of a gene that allows the immune system to clear the abnormal proteins and concluded, “Since vitamin D and curcumin work differently with the immune system, we may find that a combination of the two, or each used alone, may be more effective, depending on the individual patient.”
The research is in its very early stages and the doctors have yet to recommend a dosage for curcuminoids or vitamin D to combat AD.