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Brain and Mental Performance Functional Foods

Curcumin Is Good For The Mind

10 months, 1 week ago

960  0
Posted on Feb 07, 2018, 11 a.m.

Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin has been shown to improve the mood and memory in individuals with mild age related memory loss. Supplements taken twice daily over an 18 month time frame boosted cognitive power according to researchers at UCLA, as published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

 

Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin has been shown to improve the mood and memory in individuals with mild age related memory loss. Supplements taken twice daily over an 18 month time frame boosted cognitive power according to researchers at UCLA, as published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

 

Researchers set out to examine and analyze the effects of an easily absorbed curcumin supplement on memory performance in individuals without dementia as well as the possible impact on microscopic tangles and plaques found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Curcumin found in turmeric has been shown to have antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. It has been suggested that seniors in India where curcmin is a dietary staple have a decreased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and increased cognitive performance. How curcumin is able to exert the effects are not exactly certain, but may be due to the ability to reduce brain inflammation which is linked to major depression and Alzheimer’s according to Dr. Gary Small.

 

This placebo controlled, double blind study included 40 adult participants between the ages of 50 and 90 years of age, who had mild memory complaints, that were randomly put into groups receiving either 90 milligrams of curcmin twice a day for 18 months or a placebo. Individual standardized cognitive assessments were conducted on all 40 of the participants at the onset of the study and again at 6 month intervals. Levels of curcmin in the participants blood was monitored at the beginning of the study and after 18 months. Positron emission tomography scans were undergone by 30 of the participants to determine the levels of tau and amyloid in their brains at the beginning of the study and after 18 months.

 

The individuals who had been given curcumin experienced significant improvements in their attention and memory abilities, with the individuals who had received placebo having none. Memory tests show the participants taking curcumin had improved by 28% over the 18 month period, mild improvements in mood were reported, and brain PET scans showed significantly decreased levels of tau and amyloid signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus than those exhibited in the participants who had been given placebos. Mild side effects such as nausea and abdominal pain were experienced by 4 curcmin and 2 placebo participants.

 

Researchers plan to conduct follow up studies with a larger number of participants, and will include people with mild depression so the effects of curcmin as an antidepressant can be investigated. A larger sampling will allow researchers to analyze whether curcumin’s memory enhancing effects will vary to individuals genetic risk for Alzheimer’s, age or the extent of cognitive problems. Results suggest curcumin could be a relatively safe form of providing meaningful cognitive benefits over the years.

 

Materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Gary W. Small, Prabha Siddarth, Zhaoping Li, Karen J. Miller, Linda Ercoli, Natacha D. Emerson, Jacqueline Martinez, Koon-Pong Wong, Jie Liu, David A. Merrill, Stephen T. Chen, Susanne M. Henning, Nagichettiar Satyamurthy, Sung-Cheng Huang, David Heber, Jorge R. Barrio. 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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