October 11, 2006
A Boost for Curry

The tested group was very small, the results very tentative, but scientists at UCLA are hopeful that a chemical in curry and tumeric may help our immune systems rid the brain of amyloid beta, implicated in forming the plaques found in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

The chemical is curcumin, previously recognized for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Results of the study suggest that curcumin helps macrophages - the immune system's "Pac Men...gobbling up waste products" - clear away amyloid beta.

These early findings were published in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, and an abstract was released by UCLA.

Last month, in another study, scientists said they found something in red wine that may help prevent Alzheimer's disease, at least in rats. In light of these latest findings, the question before the house now is: Which red wine should a person select when eating curry? I'm betting a Dolcetto would do just fine, or maybe a Lambrusco or Beaujolais Nouvuea - something fresh, young, fruity and zesty.

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