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Inflammation Disrupts Memory - What Can You Do to Protect Your Brain?

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By Peter Rufa* • www.ProHealth.com • July 24, 2017


Inflammation Disrupts Memory - What Can You Do to Protect Your Brain?
The CDC recently reported a 55% increase in deaths due to Alzheimer's Disease in the last 15 yearsi.  This led CBS News to declare "Alzheimer's Deaths are Skyrocketing."ii

Statistics like these can be frightening. They can be especially scary if you've ever witnessed a loved one suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. Of course, the news and articles that cover statistics like these only tell half the story.

There's another side of the story. One that offers hope. It is the story of researchers and scientists who continue to uncover natural ways to support the health of the brain, especially for memory, recall and mood.

These researchers aren't focused on finding a cure. Instead, they focus on prevention. They've found that people whose diets feature a regular consumption of curcumin or Omega-3 fatty acids consistently have stronger memory and recall late into their lives. While curcumin can be found most in curries, fish provides one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Of course, not everyone likes fish. Nor does everyone like curry. Plus, each of these has some drawbacks with consideration to pollutants like mercury in fish or frankly the amount of curry you need to eat to enjoy the health benefits researchers report. The good news is none of this matters any more.

A new supplement called Optimized Curcumin with Omega 3 unites the benefits of each brain supporting nutrient while it eliminates the drawbacks. Before we look at this simple, natural way to support memory and mood, let's take a brief look at what scientists say is a big contributor to mental decline.

Inflammation

Scientists report inflammation and inflammatory proteins disrupt memory. Research by University of California - Irvine neuroscientists shows molecules called cytokines that cause inflammation interfere with communication between neurons in the area of the brain responsible for memory.iii

Dr. John Guzowski, one of the UC Irvine researchers, commented, "Our research provides the first link among immune system activation, altered neural circuit function and impaired discrimination memory...The implications may be beneficial for those who have chronic diseases."iv

Inflammation is an essential component of immune response and especially wound healing. However, once the wound heals, the inflammation is supposed to stop. In recent years researchers have identified diseases linked to chronic inflammation.vi This has led to further study on possible connections between chronic inflammation and other diseases.

Research has also identified many causes beyond disease that increase inflammation. Some include foods like sugar, trans fats and refined carbohydrates.  Stress also disrupts the human body's ability to manage inflammation.vi  Numerous other causes from alcohol to smoking and more have been reported as well.

Regardless of the cause of inflammation, the UC Irvine research shows inflammation interferes with memory. Anyone who has had experience with someone suffering from memory loss also knows it affects their mood as well.

Is Curcumin the Most Powerful Natural Anti-inflammatory?

Curcumin comes from turmeric, a main ingredient in curries. It also has a long history as an Ayurvedic spice used to aid digestion, improve circulation, encourage wound healing as well as a therapy for many other conditions. Its role as an anti-inflammatory caught the attention of researchers years ago.

Today, it's widely acknowledged that free curcumin, or the curcumin that enters the blood stream, reduces inflammation.vii  The connection between inflammation and brain health in recent years has prompted scientists to take a closer look.

For example, a review published in the American Journal of Epidemiology noted elderly people for whom curry was a regular part of their diet perform better on cognitive tests than elderly people who didn't regularly eat curry.viii  Researchers have also observed in animal trials that curcumin protects brain cells from damage commonly observed in patients with memory loss.ix

A review of recent research reported curcumin reduces inflammation in the brain.x  The study did note one important factor: much of the success noted in animal tests hasn't translated into success in human trials due to the human body's inability to absorb most of the curcumin consumed.

Longvida® Curcumin Improves Absorption

Typically, only about 5% of regular curcumin gets absorbed.xi  That means for a 400 mg supplement, you'd only get about 20 mg. Optimized Curcumin with Omega-3 resolves this problem by using a unique form of curcumin known as Curcumin SLCP, or Longvida® Curcumin.

SLCP stands for solid lipid curcumin particle. It increases the amount of curcumin absorbed by 65 times. Compared to standard curcumin, the SLCP curcumin floods the body with free curcumin.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reported this form of curcumin outperformed standard curcumin in lab tests.  The Longvida® Curcumin decreased levels of inflammatory markers including nitric oxide, interleukin-6 and prostaglandin- E2.xii

North Texas researchers confirmed in a clinical trial that this higher amount of bioavailable curcumin does reduce inflammation and inflammatory markers. They observed significant decreases in inflammatory molecules TNF-alpha and Interleukin-8 in human subjects with high levels of exercise induced muscle inflammation.xiii

Longvida® Curcumin has also performed well to support memory and mood. A placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 60 elderly individuals reported the curcumin groupxiv:
  • Performed better on memory tests
  • Showed an improved working memory as compared to the placebo group
  • Experienced less fatigue
  • Enjoyed a better mood

Omega-3 for Maximum Support

Did your grandmother ever say, "Eat your fish, it will make you smart"? Well she might have been on to something. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish do support a healthy brain. And I'm not saying that because your grandmother told me to, it's backed up by science.

A small double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared memory and recall in older healthy men and women ages 50-75. The group that received the omega-3 fatty acids showed better recall of object locations in a memory performance test.xv  These results fit with a study of patients suffering memory loss that found adding omega-3 fatty acids slowed the speed of decline.xvi

Scientists have identified two ways omega-3 supports the brain:
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation.

    A comprehensive review of omega-3 fatty acid research noted numerous studies that show decreases in inflammation in the presence of these fatty acids.xvii  The precise mechanisms of how they do it continue to be researched.
     
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow to the brain.

    An article published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease reports patients who have high levels of omega-3 levels had greater blood flow to areas of the brain responsible for memory, learning and mood. Lead author of the study Daniel G. Amen, MD, of the Amen Clinics Inc., Costa Mesa, CA, said:

    "This is very important research because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia."xviii

     
Who Benefits from Optimized Curcumin with Omega-3?

As the curry study noted, people who eat curry regularly have better memory and recall as they age. And as the research shows omega-3 fatty acids may slow mental decline, it does not stop it. Brain support does not appear to be something that one starts when it becomes apparent it’s necessary. By that point it’s too late.

The best way to protect the brain starts when it may not seem like it's needed. So who would benefit? Perhaps the best answer is, anyone whose diet does not regularly consist of fish or curry. More simply, anyone who wants to take preventative steps to protect their brain now and for years to come.

*Copywriter Peter Rufa writes for a wide range of clients but specializes in health.  He has written for doctors, supplement providers, healthcare, medical, and fitness organizations and businesses throughout the United States.

References»



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