The global prevalence of dementia is alarming. According to the World Health Organization, 50 million people are living with it globally. By the year 2050, this figure will reach a whopping 131.5 million. Amongst these statistics, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause and comprises 60-70% of the cases!
India caught the global spotlight a few years ago toward dementia. But why? We will find out the answer here. To begin this journey, let us first understand what dementia is!
Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Dementia is a progressive deficit in cognitive abilities such as memory, thinking, and behaviour. At least 50 different disorders are known to cause dementia. The most common cause is Alzheimer’s disease or AD. It is a neurocognitive disorder. AD impact on overall mental well-being is negative. Thus, researchers study it under the abnormal psychology discourse.
What makes Alzheimer’s the most feared cause of dementia is how it progressively causes multiple cognitive deficits. Initial stages may look like a person finding it difficult to work or difficulty in recalling events. In the later stages, these deficits become severe and may involve:
- Poor judgement
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Easily disoriented
- Depression or anxiety
- Empty speech, that is, the grammar and syntax remain intact. The produced sentences are meaningless
The last stages are painful not only for the person with the disorder but also for the caretakers, family and friends. In most cases, the person reaches a vegetative stage and has no clue about the surroundings.
As of now, there is no treatment available for AD. Our best bet is prevention and taking care of our health. Since it is a neurocognitive disorder, the way forward is to include a well-balanced & nutritious diet and keep exercising our way to a healthier brain.
Does the clinical picture sound scary? Well, it is. This picture gives you a whole new perspective on how unapologetically dangerous Alzheimer’s is and why the scientific community continues to find answers to fix it.
In pursuit of treatments, many studies by researchers have found some clues in turmeric.
What is the connection between India and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) ?
The Indian diet is full of spices and colours. The most commonly used are red chilli, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, star anise, and our lead of this story turmeric. For centuries, turmeric has been an integral part of the Indian culture for varied purposes. From ceremonies to cooking, you will find it everywhere. This spice is omnipresent!
Turmeric made its name globally as a result of its neuroprotective benefits like anti-inflammatory properties. A special compound called curcumin is responsible for these positive health outcomes. Therefore, it is curcumin that should be the lead or protagonist of our story, not turmeric.
Here’s an article you should check out if you want to know more about Turmeric and its health benefits.
A long term study conducted in 2018 showcases the true power of curcumin. It was found that daily oral consumption of curcumin by non-demented subjects led to significant memory and attention benefits. Curcumin inhibits the accumulation of destructive Cerebral amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), which is the cause of this pervasive neurodegenerative disorder. These results are a reclamation of previous studies conducted by scientists around the world. With no sure shot treatment for Alzheimer’s, curcumin has brought a ray of hope. The growing body of research will continue to study the positive effects of curcumin.
According to the Indo-US Cross-National Dementia Study, researchers found that the prevalence of AD among adults aged 70-79 years in India is 4.4 times less than that of adults aged 70-79 years in the United States. Researchers asserted the extensive use of turmeric as a staple dietary supplement in the Indian culture to be the reason, AD and its havoc continue to be lesser in India than in countries such as the USA. The study also concluded that those who often ate curry (turmeric dominated) often performed better on cognitive function tests than those who ate curry never or rarely. The cultural legacy is seen in their export capacity as well. India produces the finest quality of turmeric in the world! There is a recent debate within the turmeric world as to who has the best with technology advances and organic farming but India is staying in the game and turning this Ayurveda practice into the 21st century. (Indian vs USA turmeric)
Now that you know why India has one of the lowest rates of AD prevalence, you must be wondering how do I procure and consume it? Well, we are here to help and guide you through the process.
The way forward
The research is still on to understand Alzheimer’s Disease and ways to use turmeric against it. It is a long journey ahead. As mentioned in our previous article, you will figure that it does have health benefits that we should reap.
Since the discovery of turmeric in the Western world, people are actively trying to inculcate this magical herb in their diet. Scrambled eggs, turmeric tea, and golden milk are becoming popular. We highly recommend you try the golden milk or haldi ka doodh. It is an Indian recipe which tastes great and is really easy to make. All you need is a heating pan, milk, turmeric, and black pepper.
“Wait! What? Black pepper?”
Yes, black pepper. It enhances the effectiveness of curcumin in turmeric and it is always recommended that you add this.
Now that you know how to cook the bright yellow beauty, you can strive to be a culinary genius yourself and let us know your new recipe *wink wink*
If you’re thinking how cooking is never in your plan of action then we completely understand your emotions. It should not demotivate you from consuming it though. One of the most popular ways of consuming curcumin is a supplement. It is of utmost significance to understand that it is not an elixir of life but an elixir of prevention and better brain health. Try not to put all your hopes on one supplement and instead make sure to lead a balanced life.
At Ozia, we believe in convenience, innovation, and creating products of the highest standards. Your well-being is our priority. As part of this vision, we present to you our famous turmeric candy! At just two pieces a day, you will get a huge dose of turmeric that you need when you can’t eat fresh turmeric root.
We use a cGMP facility following strict FDA guidelines while testing for purity and quality in every batch. For over a decade, Ozia Originals has been spreading good vibes by making innovative products from nature. Located on Oahu in beautiful Hawaii, our goal is to make your life a little easier by knocking out the tough stuff so you can focus on the fun stuff.
Are you ready for your first health infused turmeric candy experience?
Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., Hooley, J. M., Taylor, S., & Antony, M. M. (2010). Abnormal psychology. Pearson Education Canada.
Prince, Martin & Wimo, Anders & Guerchet, Maëlenn & Ali, Gemma-Claire & Wu, Yu-Tzu & Prina, Matthew. (2015). World Alzheimer’s Report 2015. The Global Impact of Dementia. An Analysis of Prevalence, Incidence, Cost and Trends.
Small, G. W., Siddarth, P., Li, Z., Miller, K. J., Ercoli, L., Emerson, N. D., … Barrio, J. R. (2018). Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(3), 266–277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2017.10.010
World Health Organization. (n.d.). Dementia. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia.