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  • Alzheimers risk in women increases 36 pecent for every one unit increase in BMI

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, June 07, 2004 10:43 am Email this article
    Obesity increases the risk of Alzheimer's Disease in women according to a study from researchers at Utah State University. The risk of Alzheimers increases 36 pecent in women for every one unit increase in body mass index (BMI) at the age of 70. This association was not found in men.

    Women who developed dementia between ages of 79 and 88 years were overweight, and had a higher average BMI at age 70, 75 and 79 than women who did not develop Alzheimer’s.

    At age 70 women who later developed Alzheimer’s had an average BMI of 27.7 compared to 25.7 for women who did not develop Alzheimer’s.

    At age 75 women who later developed Alzheimer’s had an average BMI of 27.9 compared to 25.0 for women who did not develop Alzheimer’s.

    At age 79 women who later developed Alzheimer’s had an average BMI of 26.9 compared to 25.1 for women who did not develop Alzheimer’s.

    The authors suggested that the extra weight might cause cardiovascular problems which might play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.

    The study involved 392 Swedish adults who showed no signs of Alzheimer’s at the start of the study, who were then followed for 18 years, from the age of 70 to 88-years-old.


    Gustafson D, Rothenberg E, Blennow K, Steen B, Skoog I. An 18-year follow-up of overweight and risk of alzheimer disease. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Jul 14, 163(13):1524-28.


    Deb Gustafson
    Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
    Utah State University
    Logan, Utah USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Jun 07, 2004 at 3:46 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Low doses of curcumin, which comes from the spice turmeric which is a part of the ginger family and is a constituent of curry powder--the equivalent of 500 mg per day--reduced Alzheimer's-like plaque in the brains of mice by 80 percent according to research from UCLA (Lim et al, 2001).

    Interestingly, a higher dose of curcumin--the equivalent of 2000 mg per day--was less effective reducing plaques by only 45 percent, a reduction similar to that seem when using ibuprofen, although curcumin and ibuprofen seem to work by different mechanisms.

    The researchers wrote that:

    "The yellow curry spice, curcumin, has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities which confer significant protection against neurotoxic... agents." (p. 993, abstract)


    The researchers also noted that the incidence of Alzheimer's Disease in people over 80-years-old is 75 percent lower in India, where curcumin is part of the diet, than it is in the U.S. (4 percent versus 15.7 percent).

    "Curcumin is both a potent antioxidant and an effective anti-inflammatory agent capable of inhibition of... cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)." (p. 994, col. 1, para. 3)

    On Jun 07, 2004 at 3:53 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Curcumin inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) which means that it may help to protect against Parkinson's Disease.

    Researchers found that COX-2 appears in high concentrations in parts of the brain affected by Parkinson's disease, suggesting that COX-2 plays a role in the disease according to an article in Science News (Seppa N. Protein implicated in Parkinson's disease. Sci News. 2003 May 3, 163(18):285)

    COX-2 inhibitors preserves brain cells in mice with Parkinson's Disease according to research from Columbia University as described in the Science News article (May 3, 2003, p. 285).

    COX-2 inhibitors work by stopping the enzyme COX-2 from converting dopamine to a toxic form which kills brain cells. (Enzymes act like chemical scissors which help to convert one substance into another, and metabolize drugs and other substances in the body.)

    Taken together, the findings suggest that COX-2 inhibitors should be tested on Parkinson's patients immediately, says study coauthor Serge Przedborski, a neurologist at Columbia University according to the article in Science News.

    On Jun 07, 2004 at 3:57 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    The study from UCLA also noted that both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's is less common in India where they eat a lot of curry which contains curcumin. (Lin, 2001) I believe this paper or another indicated that there is only about one-fourth as much Parkinson's in India as the U.S., however I am not able find this exact statement so that I can reference it.

    Note: Cyclooxygenase (COX) is an enzyme that controls inflammation. Aspirin is a COX inhibitor, but inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2. The beneficial effects of aspirin are thought to be due to its inhibition of COX-2, whereas the adverse effects, such as erosion of the stomach lining, are thought to be due to the inhibition of COX-1. That is why drug companies developed COX-2 inhibitors--to get the benefits while reducing the adverse effects.

    On Jun 07, 2004 at 3:58 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Curcumin may also protect against prostate cancer according to other research. One study found that curcumin killed 80 percent of prostate cancer cells.

    The current paper also notes that "Because of anti-tumor activity, relative safety, and its long history of use, curcumin is currently being developed for clinical use as a cancer chemopreventive agent." (p. 994, col. 1, para. 3)

    On Jun 07, 2004 at 3:58 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Curcumin may also protect against esophagus and stomach cancer because of it's ability to inhibit COX-2. COX-2 frequent shows up in a common form of stomach cancer, but not in normal healthy stomach tissue according to an article in Science News (Seppa N. Cox-2 shows up in stomach cancers. Sci News, 2001 Aug?18, 160(7).)

    "There is no reason to think that inhibition of Cox-2 would not work [against] esophagus or stomach cancer, if it works in the colon," said Ari Ristim?ki, a physician at Helsinki University Central Hospital who coauthored the study.

    On Jun 07, 2004 at 3:59 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Curcumin may also help to protect against heart attack and stroke by inhibiting abnormal platelet aggregation (abnormally sticking together).

    On Jun 07, 2004 at 4:00 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    You can buy curcumin as a supplement. The cheapest source I have seen is Beyond-A-Century.

    A "Pinch" (1/16 teaspoon) contains 150 mg of curcumin. I do not know if it is better to take it all at once or smaller doses throughout the day, however, I take 1/16 teaspoon (150 mg) three times a day after eating assuming that spreading it out might be more protective.

    Their current price as of June 7, 2004 is:

    50 grams of powder (50,000 mg)
    1/8 teaspoon equals 300 mg
    1/16 teaspoon equals 150 mg
    Product Code 855.0

    (This is a 100 day supply (a little over three months) if you take 500 mg per day. This means that 500 mg of curcumin costs 9 cents per day.)</ul>

    They can be reached at:

    Beyond A Century
    173 Lily Bay Road
    Greenville, ME 04441
    800-777-1324 Toll-Free Phone
    207-695-2492 Fax

    Web: http://www.beyond-a-century.com/
    Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    A company called Norpro makes a small set of stainless steel measuring spoons called "Mini Measuring Set" which includes a:

    "Dash" (1/8 teaspoon) -- this is 300 mg of curcumin
    "Pinch" (1/16 teaspoon) -- this is 150 mg of curcumin
    "Smidgen" (1/32 teaspoon) -- this is 75 mg of curcumin

    These are very handy because a "Pinch", which equals 1/16 teaspoon, contains 150 mg of curcumin which can be taken with breakfast, lunch and dinner (and perhaps before bed, provided that it does not keep you awake) for a total of 450 mg or 600 mg (if also taken before bed).

    I saw this set of small measuring spoons at Bed, Bath & Beyond in early 2003, however they are not shown on their website.

    It can also be purchased on-line for $2.99 from Fantes.com (Fantes Kitchen Wares Shop). The item number is 79715.

    <ul>Measuring Spoons, Dash Pinch Smidgen

    Measures approximations for a Dash, a Pinch and a Smidgen

    Item # 79715
    Fantes Kitchen Wares Shop
    1006 S. Ninth Street
    Philadelphia PA 19147-4798

    1-800-443-2683 Toll-Free phone
    (1-800-44-FANTE) Toll-Free phone
    (215) 922-5557 Phone

    Tuesday through Friday
    9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Time

    On Jun 07, 2004 at 4:09 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    The references to my above comments are as follows:

    Lim G, Chu T, Yang F, Beech W, Frautschy S, Cole G. The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an alzheimer transgenic mouse. J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 1, 21(21):8370-77.

    Frautschy S, Hu W, Kim P, Miller S, Chu T, Harris-White ME, Cole G. Phenolic anti-inflammatory antioxidant reversal of abeta-induced cognitive deficits and neuropathology. Neurobiol Aging. 2001 Nov-Dec, 22(6):993-1005.

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