Vitamin D3 and Curcumin Clear Amyloid-Beta

Vitamin D3 and Curcumin Clear Amyloid-Beta
UCLA academic researchers are closer to explaining how vitamin D3 may help the body rid the brain of amyloid beta which is found in the plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. The March issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease explains that vitamin D3 may trigger specific genes to set off cellular signaling which stimulates the immune system to clear away the dreaded amyloid-beta protein.

In their previous laboratory work scientists were able to show that specific types of immune cells in Alzheimer's patients responded to therapy with vitamin D3 and curcumin, a chemical found in the spice known as turmeric to awaken the patient’s own immune system to clear amyloid beta. By isolating macrophages in the blood they could further identify how macrophages gobble up the amyloid beta. Depending on the Alzheimer’s patient, so far there are basically two types of patients and two types of macrophages which the research team labeled as Type I and Type II: For macrophage Type I both vitamin D3 and Curcumin (synthetic form of the spice) were needed to improve the function of these critical immune cells. For macrophage Type II D3 was necessary.

Of course, more clinical testing is on the forefront. However, this brings us a step closer to understanding how the cell’s own “immune system” can be triggered to signal it’s time to clear out the amyloid beta. Right now researchers don’t even know the proper dosage.

What can you do today?

I believe the take home message based on this study and many others:
  • Tap into spring and summer to get Vitamin D exposure on the skin. This means don’t use sunblock for twenty minutes on exposed areas to the sun. Note: you don’t need a searing noon day sun. You can use your judgment as to time place like 10am might work for some or 3pm might work for others.
  • Get a blood test to find out your Vitamin D level. Alzheimer’s and those with mild cognitive impairment tend to have lower D levels than the rest of the population. If you are deficient, have your doctor prescribe the proper D3 dosage for you.
  • Cook with curry or turmeric. Shake it on poultry, rice and veggies.
  • Eat fatty fish two to three times a week. Even if you are sick of wild salmon, consider it medicine for the brain.
  • Exercise to oxygenate and drive glucose into the brain. Exercise builds new neurons and enhances synaptic connections. Neuroplasticity is the buzz word du jour.
Balanced living, positive reframing and a good social support system can help you stay healthier longer.
For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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