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Can a Spice Prevent Alzheimer’s?
Published: 11/03/2013

Chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to the development of many age-related health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Although this process may be barely noticeable, there are things you can do to prevent or delay health issues related to inflammation. In the case of Alzheimer’s, making good choices in diet, exercise and lifestyle can all reduce risk. Taking natural anti-inflammatories is also a good move, especially turmeric and ginger.

Turmeric has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and is a component of the Dr. Weil-recommended anti-inflammatory diet and Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid. The principal ingredient in mild yellow prepared mustard and in curry, turmeric may have a specific preventive effect against Alzheimer’s disease (it has been shown to prevent amyloid plaque formation in animals) and may reduce the risk of many types of cancer as well. You can find turmeric products in health food stores, but many are preparations of curcumin, which is only one of the active components. Instead, take a whole extract of turmeric, and look for those prepared by the process of "supercritical extraction" – which uses liquefied carbon dioxide to extract the natural components of turmeric, rather than chemicals such as hexane, which can leave a residue. Also look for turmeric supplements that contain piperine, an alkaloid from black pepper, which has been shown to improve turmeric’s bioavailability.

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Everyone's dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more. To find out what vitamins you need, take the Weil Vitamin Advisor. This 3-step questionnaire requires just minutes to complete, and generates a free, no-obligation vitamin and nutritional supplement recommendation that is personalized to meet your unique nutritional needs.

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