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Ask Dr. Mike: Curcumin to Fight Alzheimer's & Vitamin D Levels

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans.

Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

I read an article on about curcumin and how it might be an Alzheimer's treatment. It didn't get into how it would do it, other than curcumin is a good antioxidant. Can you explain how curcumin works?

Curcumin is a potent antioxidant. It breaks the blood-brain barrier and can serve as an antioxidant in the brain. The theory is that oxidative stress contributes to Alzheimer’s disease development. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory.

Curcumin can also stimulate the immune system. Abnormal proteins clump together to form the Alzheimer’s protein plaque, which is just a symptom of the disease. Curcumin addresses oxidative stress and inflammation. It’s also helping to clear the amyloid plaques by attaching itself to the abnormal proteins. That combination is enough to stimulate a type of immune cell that internalizes the plaque and is able to clear it.

I’m a 60-year-old woman and I’ve been taking 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for over three years. I wear sunscreen daily. My blood level is between 80 and 99. There are so many opinions on what is a safe blood level for vitamin D3. I have read that 80 to 100 levels are cancer preventative. Am I in the safe zone regardless of the cancer prevention?

Vitamin D blood levels between 80 and 99 is great. A vitamin D level of 34 is the conventional blood level, but that's the level where you're safe from diseases specifically related to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays a huge part in the immune system that fights cancer.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.