According to a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists have identified the particular mechanism regulated by vitamin D3 that helps clear the brain of the plaques that cause this brain-wasting disease.
In the past, both vitamin D and curcumin, the main component in turmeric, have been shown to help fight Alzheimer’s disease separately, but research now shows they may be even more effective when used together.
To test their hypothesis, scientists took blood samples from Alzheimer’s patients and healthy controls. They then isolated the macrophages – the part of the white blood cells known to target and eliminate plaque and other cellular debris that build up in the brain and can cause disease. Researchers found that the activity of the macrophages improved significantly by the synergistic action of the vitamin D3 and curcumin collectively.
“It is too early to recommend a definitive dosage of vitamin D3 to help with Alzheimer’s disease and brain health,” the researchers said; however, obtaining optimal vitamin D3 levels in the blood is simple and inexpensive to do. If one isn’t able to get their vitamin D from the sun, supplementing with vitamin D3 would be prudent. Adding curcumin to the diet using curry-enriched foods or supplementing with turmeric may be a safe way to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.