6 Reasons Why Turmeric Could Help In Parkinson

Herein we have assessed 50+ research studies to give a fact-based detailed outlook as to how turmeric shows therapeutic potential in Parkinson’s disease

New studies are being conducted on the use of antioxidant herbal remedies in treating Parkinson’s. Turmeric compound curcumin, a polyphenol, has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties besides having neuroprotective capabilities since it can cross the blood-brain barrier.

Herein we have assessed 50+ research studies to give a fact-based detailed outlook as to how turmeric shows therapeutic potential in Parkinson’s disease

1. Turmeric has multiple benefits in Parkinson’s disease


Curcumin prevents oxidative damage to brain cells in Parkinson’s – google image 

Curcumin by virtue of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective property finds many therapeutic applications in Parkinson’s disease.

As an antioxidant, curcumin prevents the action of free radical species, peroxynitrite which causes oxidative damage to brain cells in Parkinson’s.

In an animal model of Parkinson’s disease, curcumin is found to bring about various positive changes.

It prevented the reduction of antioxidant enzymes in the brain which otherwise would cause cell death in the brain.

It also prevented the reduction in brain chemicals like dopamine and acetylcholine which are vital in brain function. Curcumin elevated the levels of proteins that are essential for maintenance and nerve growth.

Homocysteine is an amino acid which is elevated in Parkinson’s disease and this contributes to neurotoxicity. Curcumin protects the nervous system from homocysteine-induced toxicity and prevents impairment of motor function.

Animal studies show that curcumin protects from learning and memory deficits caused by elevated homocysteine levels.

Curcumin formulation is found to prevent motor impairment in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Curcumin as an antioxidant protects from oxidative stress in Parkinson’s disease.

As antioxidant curcumin inhibits the destruction of neurons in the substantia nigra and prevents the reduction in dopamine levels.

Apart from anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, curcumin acts on various biochemical pathways to prevent cell death of dopaminergic neurons.

Curcumin counteracts the inflammation caused by neuronal degeneration induced by reduced dopamine levels.

Curcumin is identified as one of the phytochemicals present in a plant-based diet which could be of the relevance of treating and preventing Parkinson’s disease.

A report published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2016 suggests that even Ayurveda- traditional Indian medicine system recommends turmeric for Parkinson’s.

2. It protects brain cells from cell death

Cell death of neurons or brain cells that produce neurotransmitter, dopamine is characteristic of Parkinson’s disease and impairs motor function.

An animal study was conducted to examine whether turmeric consumption could help in protecting the dopaminergic neurons from cell death in Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s was induced by administering a drug named MPTP which produces symptoms similar to the disease.

The death of neurons in Parkinson’s occurs as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondria are powerhouses of the cell and aid in cellular respiration.

Turmeric supplementation protected from neuronal cell death occurring as a result of this dysfunction.

It also prevented abnormal changes in neuronal proteins which are a marker of oxidative stress. Curcumin derivatives also show similar action.

Another study also proves that curcumin protects the brain mitochondria which is of relevance to Parkinson’s disease treatment.

CNB-001, a novel derivative of curcumin is found to protect the dopaminergic neurons from cell death in Parkinson’s disease.

Curcumin is famous as a chelating agent- it accumulates toxic metals as compounds that can be excreted.

By virtue of its iron-chelating properties, curcumin is found to suppress iron-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons- the loss of which leads to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Reduced levels of glutathione, antioxidant leads to degeneration of brain cells. Curcumin and derivatives of curcumin as antioxidants protect against such degradation.


3. It prevents the formation of Lewy bodies

Alpha-synuclein is a protein found in brain cells. In Parkinson’s disease, these proteins undergo changes in structure which cause cell death in brain cells.

It forms protein aggregates called Lewy bodies.

Curcumin is found to inhibit such activity by inhibiting oxidative stress-imbalance between prooxidants and antioxidants. Curcumin inhibits overproduction of alpha-synuclein and prevents its mutations.

Curcumin inhibits the formation of alpha-synuclein fibrils which give rise to Lewy bodies. Curcumin and its analogue prevent accumulation of Lewy bodies.

Macroautophagy is a process that degrades that proteins in cells and this process is impaired in Parkinson’s disease due to an accumulation of protein-alpha synuclein.

Curcumin reduces the accumulation of alpha-synuclein by recovering the macroautophagy process.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science Institute have found that curcumin treatment prevents motor function impairment occurring as a result of alpha-synuclein accumulation.

Curcumin activates the level of transcription factor EB, a protein that regulates autophagy and in turn reduces neurotoxicity.

Autophagy degrades the accumulation of protein alpha-synuclein.

Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and inhibit alpha-synuclein accumulation and toxicity in Parkinson’s.


4. It inhibits enzyme monoamine oxidase to protect brain cells

Glial cells surround the neurons and provide them with protection.

In Parkinson’s disease, they produce abnormal amounts of an enzyme monoamine oxidase which causes oxidative damage and leads to cell death. Inhibition of this enzyme can aid in the treatment of Parkinson’s.

Dietary curcumin is identified as a compound that inhibits the activity of this enzyme and reduces oxidative stress.

In an animal study curcumin and its derivative tetrahydrocurcumin was found to reverse dopamine depletion and inhibited the activity of monoamine oxidase in Parkinson’s disease.


5. It protects cognition and remedies of depression

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Dietary curcumin could be beneficial in treating and preventing dementia – Kentary’s photo

Animal study shows that curcumin prevents age-related cognitive and memory deficits.

A case study demonstrated that turmeric supplementation for 1 year brought about improvement in dementia and memory.

Dietary curcumin could be beneficial in treating and preventing dementia. In experimental models of dementia, curcumin is found to be useful in treating it.

Curry consumption is associated with better cognitive performance in elderly Asians due to the presence of curcumin.

Curcumin supplementation in the healthy older population is found to increase attention, working memory and mood.

Curcumin has a number of pharmacological properties that help in ameliorating the chemical imbalance in depression and stress.

Curcumin supplementation is as efficacious as Prozac or fluoxetine in treating depression. Review of clinical trials investigating the role of curcumin in depression also points out that curcumin is an effective add-on therapy for depression.

6. Curcumin may improve motor function in Parkinson’s

One of the major symptoms of Parkinson’s diseases is difficulty in movement. The accumulation of α-synuclein leads to stiffness and rigidity in movement.

It is proven that dietary administration of curcumin can bring about significant improvement in gait impairment in an animal model of Parkinson’s.

CNB-001, a novel derivative of curcumin, It protects the neurons by anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties and mitigates motor impairment.

A recent study published in Pharmacology, Behaviour, and Biochemistry, 2016 demonstrated that curcumin attenuated movement related deficits in an animal model of Parkinson’s by increasing the level of antioxidant enzymes.

In a fly model of Parkinson’s disease, curcumin reduces oxidative stress, delays loss of motor function and increases lifespan.

Researchers have studied the effects of curcumin in various developmental stages in the fly model in Parkinson’s disease. Curcumin is found to protect from motor defects in early stages of life.


Source: turmericforhealth


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