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Curcumin (Diferuloylmethane) is a compound found in the Indian curry spice, tumeric.

It has been discovered that people in India have a very low incidence of neurological diseases and researchers have attempted to find out why this is. They have looked at the spice, tumeric, which was known from traditional Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent effective in wound healing. Research using curcumin, the active ingredient of tumeric, in EAE, a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, has shown that it may be of benefit to people with MS.

Curcumin is not to be confused with cumin which is a completely different spice with a similar name.

There are a number of scientific papers which have looked at how curcumin might help with neurodegenerative diseases. Among the beneficial effects that curcumin may have are:

More work has shown that piperine, the spice in black pepper, increases the bio-availability of curcumin by 2,000%.

It is unclear how much curcumin/tumeric one should eat to get the maximum benefit. This is early days but some people are using 1.5 grams (about a teaspoon) of tumeric per day. You can buy curcumin/tumeric in capsule form although I am unsure whether anyone makes curcumin capsules with piperine in them.

Curcumin links:
Curry spice may fight multiple sclerosis
The Spice of Life - Unlocking the power of curcumin
Piperin Home page
Curcuma longa (turmeric). Monograph.
Curcumin inhibiting of TNF-mediated adhesion of monocytes to endothelial cells
Curcumin inhibiting of macrophage TNF-alpha release
Effect of curcumin and capsaicin on rat macrophages metabolism
Curcumin inhibiting differentiation in human endothelial cells
Curcumin and oxidative activity astrocyte cells
Regulation of IL-1 mediated MMP-9 expression in mesangial cells
Influence of piperine on curcumin in animals and humans
Immunomodulatory activity of curcumin

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