Curcumin May Treat Alzheimer

More than 5 million people in the U.S. currently live with Alzheimer’s disease. And according to the Alz-heimer’s Association, the situation is only going to get worse.

Pharmaceutical companies have invested heavily in developing Alzheimer’s drugs, many of which target amyloid-β, a peptide that misfolds and clumps in the brains of patients. But so far, no amyloid-β-targeted medications have been successful. Expectation for the most advanced drugs—bapineu-zumab from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson and solanezumab from Eli Lilly & Co.—are low on the basis of lackluster data from midstage clinical trials. That sentiment was reinforced last week when bapineuzumab was reported to have failed the first of four Phase III studies.

Gregory M. Cole, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. These drugs “would cost patients tens of thousands of dollars per year,” he estimates. That hefty price tag stems from bapineuzumab and solanezumab being costly-to-manufacture monoclonal antibodies against amyloid-β.

By 2050, the nonprofit estimates, up to 16 million Americans will have the memory-robbing disease. It will cost the U.S. $1.1 trillion annually to care for them unless a successful therapy is found.

“There’s a great need for inexpensive Alzheimer’s treatments,” as well as a backup plan if pharma fails, says Larry W. Baum, a professor in the School of Pharmacy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. As a result, he says, a great many researchers have turned their attention to less pricy alternatives, such as compounds from plants and other natural sources.

Curcumin, a spice compound derived from the rootstalk of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa), has stood out among some of the more promising naturally derived candidates. In addition to contributing to curry dishes’ yellow color and pungent flavor, curcumin has been a medicine in India for thousands of years. Doctors practicing traditional Hindu medicine admire turmeric’s active ingredient for its anti-inflammatory properties and have used it to treat patients for ailments including digestive disorders and joint pain.

When administered to mice that develop Alzheimer’s symptoms, curcumin decreases inflammation and reactive oxygen species in the rodents’ brains, researchers have found. The compound also inhibits the aggregation of troublesome amyloid-β strands among the animals’ nerve cells. But the development of curcumin as an Alzheimer’s drug has been stymied, scientists say, both by its low uptake in the body and a lack of funds for effective clinical trials—obstacles researchers are now trying to overcome.

Tartrazine Does Not Come From Lemon

What ingredients are food additives, and what are illegal add-on components? Can fragrance and flavor be used in the food? Flavor of Shanghai Institute of Technology and Engineering Sigma Societies carried out social practice project in summer, had a investigation on the misunderstanding of the public on food additives. Through the publicity to citizens, the public’s one-sided understanding of flavors and fragrances have changed.

This is the second year that Sigma Societies understand the public awareness of food additives, and dissemination of food safety precautions through questionnaires. This year’s survey shows that public knowledge of flavors and fragrances rose slightly than last year, but still very one-sided.

The questionnaire survey shows that 64.5% of respondents are still do not know, “whether Sudan and melamine are food additives”. In fact, Sudan is a chemical dye, while melamine is used as a chemical raw material, they can not be regarded as food additives and can’t be added in food. The survey also shows that 97.5% people still think that spice flavors should not be added to food. The practice team find that during the publicity to explain knowledge about flavor, citizens almost don’t believe spice flavors are non-toxic, and many people, especially senior citizens, flavors and fragrances said, “the most safest way simply is not to use”.

‘Tartrazine (also called as Acid Yellow 23, the CAS number is 1934-21-0) is extracted from a lemon, and curcumin (the formula is C21H20O6 and the CAS No. is  458-37-7) is extracted from a ginger’, the survey finds people generally have major points about food additives, but these views are wrong. Many food additives are called aseemingly “natural” in the name, but in fact they are not extracted from natural plants, such as tartrazin and curcumin are compounds. On the contrary, a number of compounds seemingly foods add ingredients extracted from plants, such as polyphenols, catechins, grape skin red.