Curry may help prevent dementia

New research suggests that eating curry several times a week could help prevent Alzheimer's.

US researchers have found that curcumin - an ingredient in popular curry spice tumeric - blocks the spread of amyloid plaques, the toxic protein deposits that trigger the disease.

Explaining the findings to the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, US professor Murali Doraiswamy said that laboratory and animal studies have proven that curcumin can help combat dementia. A clinical trial is now underway to test the effects of curcumin on Alzheimer sufferers.

Doraiswamy said that the research explains why Alzheimer's rates are low in Asian communities, which have tumeric-rich diets. Previous studies have revealed that people who eat curry are half as likely to develop dementia as those who do not.

"Studies looking at populations show that people who eat a curry meal two or three times a week seem to have a lower risk for dementia,” he added.