Everyone knows someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, whether a family member, a friend or a co-worker. Over 26 million people have Alzheimer’s worldwide and that number is growing. Alzheimer’s effects us all in some way because it’s hard to watch someone you love forget who you are. The hardest part about Alzheimer’s is it has no cure, no quick fix, and no miracle pill…until now that is. The spice turmeric maybe the answer we have been looking for to cure Alzheimer’s. What is turmeric? Turmeric is a spice most commonly found in Indian cuisine. It has a pepper, bitter flavor and smells similar to ginger with orange. Turmeric comes from the curcuma root and looks similar to a yam with a brown skin and orange flesh inside. Last year a study was published in the journal Ayu called “Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” The study examined three patients, each of the patients at the beginning of the study were irritable, agitated and had anxiety. Each patient was given 100 milligrams of turmeric a day and after three months their behavioral symptoms had greatly improved. Furthermore two of the patients came to recognize their families within one year of treatment. Not only does turmeric help fight Alzheimer’s but it also helps stop the growth of cancer cells and metastases. In a study done in 2005 by the University of Texas, published in Biochemical Pharmacology, human breast cancer cells were injected into mice which became tumors and then removed to simulate a mastectomy. The mice were then divided into four groups, one group was the control group and left alone. Another group was given a common cancer drug called Taxol. The third group was given curcumin (turmeric) and the fourth group was given curcumin (turmeric) and Taxol. After five weeks, they found that 75% of the group that was given only Taxol developed lung tumors and 95% of the control group developed lung tumors as well. However the group that took only curcumin (turmeric) only 50% of the mice developed lung tumors. And the group that took both Taxol and curcumin (turmeric) found only 22% developed lung tumors. What does this mean? The lead researcher of the study Bharat Aggarwal said “Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are like a master switch, transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form. When we turn them off, we shut down some of the genes that are involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells.” These are just a few of the amazing things turmeric can do for us. If you know someone with Alzheimer’s or cancer make them start taking turmeric or start taking turmeric yourself as a form of prevention.