Turmeric is an ancient spice best known for its use in curry and also gives mustard its bright yellow color. However, turmeric root has been used for centuries as a medicinal thanks to its many health benefits. Recently, researchers have been interested in the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, the yellow chemical compound derived from turmeric. In fact, several studies have found that curcumin can be very beneficial for brain health.
A recent study showed that turmeric may offer protective benefits for brain health. Researchers at UCLA tested the effects of curcumin on memory and attention in adults who did not have moderate or advanced dementia. They studied 40 adults between the ages of 51 and 84, about half of whom took a curcumin supplement daily for 18 months the other half took a placebo. Those who took the curcumin experienced improvement in memory and attention and a decrease of accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau protein (the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease) in parts of the brain.
Curcumin nourishes and protects the brain in a variety of ways. It’s a potent antioxidant that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells from free radical damage. It can also improve memory and concentration by increasing blood flow to the brain. One study found that one dose of curcumin significantly improved attention and working memory in healthy seniors within an hour.
Scientists have also found that curcumin raises the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that stimulates the creation of new brain cells. Additionally, it can boost neuroplasticity — your brain’s ability to change and grow throughout your lifetime. New research shows that curcumin even increases the bioavailability of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 essential fatty acid that is a fundamental building block of the brain.
While it’s true that memory issues are common with age, they are not inevitable. You can take action now to improve your brain health and function in the years to come. Start by taking a high quality curcumin supplement, like Curamed Brain from Terry Naturally.