01 Sep Top 4 Natural Memory Boosters
3. Curcumin (turmeric)
Curcumin is the yellow-colored active ingredient in the Ayurvedic herb, turmeric. Several studies have shown it has potentially potent anticancer properties. Curcumin also has been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal actions. Curcumin is prepared from the root (“rhizome”) of the turmeric plant, which does not produce any seeds.
Curcumin is used extensively in India, in many areas of which there is lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease than elsewhere in the world. Studies show that it is protective against damage caused by amyloid beta protein.
One study in an animal model found that it crossed the blood brain barrier where it bound to amyloid beta plaque and reduced overall beta-amyloid levels. It seems low doses of curcumin disaggregate (“pull apart”) amyloid beta and reduce the formation of abnormal shapes and combinations (“fibril” and “oligomer” formation) of beta-amyloid. (Many anti-Alzheimer’s patent medicines are deliberately designed to reduce amyloid beta levels, and potentially reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.) Based on this study, researchers concluded that curcumin could prove to be even more beneficial when used in individuals who already have Alzheimer’s disease with its abnormal beta-amyloid.
UCLA researchers reported that curcumin might assist macrophages (large white blood cells which literally “eat” other cells and cellular debris) in reducing beta amyloid plaque burden in the body. In Alzheimer’s disease, it’s been observed that macrophages have an impaired ability to “eat” (or “phagocytize”) the toxic accumulations of beta amyloid plaque. So, in other words, the curcumin may give the macrophages just the boost they need to literally eat away at the toxic buildup that’s linked with Alzheimer’s.
In one small study, blood was drawn from nine volunteers—six who had Alzheimer’s disease and three healthy controls—and curcumin was added to the sample.
The samples were then assessed for the ability of the macrophages to reduce the beta amyloid. There was a clear indication that in three of the Alzheimer’s patient’s blood samples, macrophages showed an increased ability to clear the plaque. Curcumin is also a potent anti-inflammatory that has been shown to inhibit inflammation and reactive oxygen species, thereby lowering damage to neurons. (Curcumin inhibits the expression of beta-amyloid induced transcription factors Egr-1 and Egr-1.)
Curcumin has been found—in anti-cancer studies—to be well tolerated at doses ranging from 2000 to 8000 mg a day for three months with no adverse effects which is great news for people wishing to use it as a memory booster.
4. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
The exciting animal Alzheimer’s research done at the University of California at Irvine using niacinamide (also named “nicotinamide” in the UK) found that “cognitively, [the mice] were cured. They performed as if they’d never developed the disease.”
According to the abstract from the research report: “We evaluated the efficacy of nicotinamide… in… mice, and found that it restored cognitive deficits associated with [Alzheimer’s disease].” After describing the biochemical and structural improvements observed in the mouse brain cells, the researchers concluded: “These preclinical findings suggest that oral nicotinamide may represent a safe treatment for Alzheimer’s disease…”
In this research, niacinamide wasn’t found to have an effect on the most common marker of Alzheimer’s, beta-amyloid, but it did cause a 60 percent decrease in another “marker” of Alzheimer’s disease, called “tau protein” (for the technically inclined, “Thr231-phos-pho-tau”). Too much tau protein is another characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 found naturally in many foods, was also associated with an increase in “microtubules,” which carry information inside brain cells. “Microtubules are like highways inside cells. What we’re doing with [niacinamide] is making a wider, more stable highway,” one of the researchers said. “In Alzheimer’s disease, this highway breaks down. We are preventing that from happening.” So it’s easy to understand why the researchers have been so enthusiastic about their findings. Follow-up human research is underway in at least two locations, in California and the United Kingdom. In an interview given to The Guardian, one researcher remarked that niacinamide brought the mice “back to the level they’d be at if they didn’t have the pathology. It actually improved behavior in non-demented animals too.” One of the California researchers said, “this suggests that not only is it good for Alzheimer’s disease, but if normal people take it, some aspects of their memory might improve.” While these researchers were focusing on actual treatment of an “animal model” of human Alzheimer’s disease, it’s my opinion, based on both published research and observation in practice, that niacinamide will ultimately be found useful in both prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
You probably remember sage and rosemary as part of the song title “Scarborough Fair” (along with parsley and thyme). However, sage, rosemary, and curcumin have been used in the treatment of disease and improvement of health in many healing traditions throughout known history. They’ve all been particularly noted for effects on memory boosting properties and effect on mental ability.
Sage Memories vs Alzheimer’s
Given all the research published so far, I’ve been looking for a product that combines lithium, sage, rosemary, curcumin, and niacinamide into one Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment supplement. Curious about how lithium fits into the equation? Read my article about Lithium and the prevention of Alzheimers.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a source for this powerful memory boosting combination, except in very small quanties. So I asked Bio-Tech Pharmacal of Arkansas—which has made lithium supplementation available for over a decade—to put all these ingredients together in one formulation. This potentially powerful formula is designed not only for prevention but also as a potential treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, especially the treatment of “early” Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. It’s called “Sage Memories”; it contains 25 milligrams of lithium and 500 milligrams of niacinamide along with 650 milligrams of a combination of sage, rosemary, and curcumin, all in 4 capsules. The curcumin is in a highly bio-available form called “Meriva®”.
Sage Memories is available at the Tahoma Clinic Dispensary HERE 1-888-893-6878).
Thank you to Dr. Lauren Russel for assembling the data for this article, and to Dr. Ron Steriti for finding most of the research reports involved.
More on Lithium: Stay informed about the Alzheimer’s prevention capabilities of lithium. For more information please visit this article written by Dr. Wright.