Amyloids are formed usually soluble proteins that get assembled to form insoluble fibers and are resistant to degradation. How is this amyloid formed? Amyloid form aggregates of protein that becomes folded in such a way which allows many copies of the protein to stick to each other forming progress.
What causes the build-up of Amyloid Protein?
Usually, amyloid formation is caused by the abnormal build-up of a protein called amyloid. Amyloid is produced in the bone marrow and can be randomly deposited in any tissue or organ. The most common disease associated with amyloid plaque formation is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder which causes the cells of the brain or neurons to degenerate and eventually dies affecting the cognitive functions.
Neurons once dead cannot be regenerated again in the body. Alzheimer’s is also considered one of the most common causes of continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills known as dementia. This condition causes a decline in the person’s ability to think and function independently.
What are the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
The earliest signs of this disease are difficulty remembering recent events or even conversations. Once the disease progresses this memory impairment and some other symptoms can develop. People affected by Alzheimer’s also have difficulty concentrating and thinking.
They also lose their ability to make reasonable decisions and judgments even in everyday situations. Performing one’s routine activities that require step by step procedure like planning and cooking or playing a game also becomes difficult as the disease progresses. It is also said that people with Alzheimer’s forget how to perform basic jobs like reading and dressing over a period of time.
Some changes in personality and behavior like depression, mood swings, irritability, aggressiveness changes in sleeping habits, loss of inhibitions, delusions, distrust in others and empathy also develop in people affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Amyloid plaques seem to have a toxic effect on neurons and also disrupt the cell to cell communication. Another protein called tau protein plays an important role in maintaining neurons internal support and transport system. It is seen that in Alzheimer’s tau proteins can change shape and reorganize them into structures called tangles. These angles can disrupt the transport system and also found to be toxic to cells.
One of the most promising natural elements that help to fight amyloid plaque formation is curcumin.
Curcumin is a phytochemical which is commonly found in the Indian spice turmeric. It has been studied and used extensively in the Indian system of medicine called Ayurveda for centuries altogether to act as an anti inflammatory and pain relieving agent. Curcumin is also found to have anticarcinogenic properties and also known as the cleanser of the body. Research has found that turmeric and curcumin can be the solution to a growing list of conditions and diseases.
An experiments conducted by the University of California has revealed that curcumin along with the combination of vitamin D3 can help to stimulate the immune system which in turn helps to clear the beta amyloid plaques considered to be one of the major reasons behind Alzheimer’s disease. The main reason behind this is that the activation of certain genes such as MGT3 and TLR 3. Another reason that found out as to why Alzheimer’s disease largely strikes older adults is that because as the individual ages, there are certain changes in the brain that take place that may harm neurons. The age related changes include shrinking of certain parts of the brain, excessive inflammation and overproduction of unstable and damaging compounds called free radicals that are produced due to oxidative stress.
Curcumin has also been reported to have ant proliferative actions on the brain glial cells. Activation of B cells secretes cytokines and other substances that help in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by various anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin is also a strong antioxidant and it reduces the production of free radicals. Curcumin increases the level of glutathione which is an antioxidant that helps in the protection of mitochondria against free radicals.
Research also says that at high concentrations, curcumin can bind to beta amyloid protein and blocks its self aggregation. Curcumin also counter attacks the effect of heavy metals like cadmium and lead thus preventing neurotoxicity which can also cause to lead to the damage of neurones causing Alzheimer’s disease. Tt has been also found that curcumin enhances the surface binding of beta-amyloid to macrophages and vitamin D3 strongly stimulates the uptake and absorption of amyloids by macrophages in many patients.
The only flipside to using curcumin is that it is not readily absorbed by the body as it has a tendency to break down in the gastrointestinal system before it can be properly absorbed. The solution to the problem is consuming curcumin with black pepper as its significantly increases the bioavailability of curcumin by about 2000 percent!