Your question answered about the herb curcumin and severe dementia - Alzheimer's Disease
Question:Dr. Wald, I am a 57 yr old male. My 81 yr old mother has Alzheimer's disease. A very high percentage of her relatives in her generation and previous generation have died from Alzheimer's. I don't like my odds; therefore, I'm looking for possible options to stave off this dreaded disease. I don't want to fall prey to snake oils, but obviously modern medicine doesn't have all the answers. I have done a bit of research into curcumin and would appreciate your opinion on it's use. Thanks for your time.
Ed, I am very sorry to hear about your mother and her diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Your question is essentially - "What is my option of the herb curcumin (Tumeric) for Alzheimer's Disease. Here is what you need to know.
Sadly, Neuologists have virtually nothing to offer the Alzheimer's sufferer
Traditionally neurology, sadly, has little to offer for AD, a progressive form of dementia or memory loss. The medications used have virtually no value, but you already know this because of your own investigations. So what about curcumin for slowing the progression of this disease? Ed, you could easily find natural practitioners, even scientific studies, that show that curcumin reduces neuro-inflammation, chelates heavy metals such as aluminum (implicated as an environmental cause of Alzheimer's disease) and other potential benefits.
25 Years of Experience has taught me a few things...
I can tell you from 25 years experience in this area that you will notice no difference whatsoever using this herb. What curcumin could potential help with, along with a large number of other nutritional supplements, is slow down the progression of this condition. Having said this it is best to take what amounts to a large number of nutrients and alter the diet of a Alzheimer's sufferer as early in the course of this disease as possible. If one waits until the disease has progressed significantly little or no noticeable benefit will happen.
The approach must be individualized
My approach is to perform a large number of blood and other types of tests to determine the cause and or potential ways in which to slow this condition. Having said this, you must understand that diet and nutritional supplements are not recognized by mainstream medicine as an effective strategy for AD. Here are some important considerations for searching for causes and natural solutions for AD:
Tests and natural approaches
1. Test for heavy metals particularly aluminum - correct accordingly
2. Test for various vitamin and mineral levels- correct accordingly
3. Check hormone levels particularly estrogens, progesterone and testosterone- correct accordingly
4. Review for potential environmental toxins- correct accordingly
5. Body composition- correct accordingly
6. Consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy
7. Check for viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections - correct accordingly
There are several basic supplements that I use for all of my patients with a diagnosis of AD, but I supplement on top of these with many more depending upon health history, overall health goals, extent of the condition and result of laboratory tests - among other factors.
My top nutritional pics are:
B12 sublingual or liquid
Brain Energy Blast
All of these are my label and are available at: www.blooddetective.com
Keep in mind that some drug-nutritional interactions exist that require a professional to review.
All treatments must be based on the specific findings, not general protocols found in nutrition books (they are often way off), and the health history of the person affected.
I do hope that this helps.
Dr. Michael Wald
DC, MD, CDN