LivingTurmeric improves memory and mood

Turmeric improves memory and mood

Curcumin is the active compound found in plants like turmeric, and more and more studies point to the compound’s therapeutic potential for various conditions , ranging from cancer to diabetes. Now, new research by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA) has concluded that daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin improves memory and mood in people with mild memory loss age-related.

The research, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, examined the effects of an easily absorbed curcumin supplement on memory performance in people without dementia, as well as the potential impact of curcumin on microscopic plaques and knots in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Present in turmeric, curcumin has previously been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in laboratory studies. And it’s one of the possible reasons for the fact that older people in India, where turmeric is a dietary staple, have a lower Alzheimer’s prevalence and better cognitive performance.

“Exactly how curcumin’s effects work is unknown, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and major depression,” said Gary Small, UCLA director of geriatric psychiatry. and work leader.

The double-blind , placebo-controlled study involved 40 participants between the ages of 50 and 90 who had mild memory problems. Volunteers were randomly assigned to either ingest a placebo or 90 milligrams of curcumin twice a day for 18 months.

The 40 subjects were assessed using standardized cognitive tests at the beginning of the study and at six-month intervals, and monitoring of curcumin levels in the blood was taken at the beginning of the study and after 18 months. Thirty of the volunteers underwent positron emission tomography, or PET, to determine the levels of amyloid and tau in their brains at the start of the study and after 18 months.

The results revealed that all those who took turmeric experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention skills, while the subjects who received placebo did not show any improvement.


In memory tests, a 28% improvement was also noted over the 18 months, as well as an increase in mood. Furthermore, their brain scans showed far fewer amyloid and tau signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus than those who took a placebo.

Only 4 of the people who took curcumin and 2 of those who took placebo experienced mild side effects, such as abdominal pain and nausea.

The researchers plan to conduct a follow-up study with a larger number of people, including patients with mild depression, to explore whether curcumin also has antidepressant effects.

“These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide significant cognitive benefits over the years,” Small concludes.


Referencia: Gary W. Small et al. Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial, The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.jagp.2017.10.010


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