Curcumin – The Memory Boosting and Mood Enhancing Compound That You Need to Know About

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The color yellow has many meanings. It denotes positivity, energy, clarity, happiness and more. Did you know that even the color of food decides for us whether we will eat it or not? It’s these small things that change your life! Today, living a healthy lifestyle has become a norm. More and more people are gravitating towards diet food and supplements. From probiotics and Vitamin tablets to protein powders, the market is full of products that you can buy to fulfill your daily recommended intake of nutrients.

What people should be going for are natural supplements that hold the most power. Not to be confused with turmeric, curcumin is a compound that is derived from the rhizomes of turmeric plant. It belongs to the ginger family and is used in various things. It’s used in supplements, cosmetics and as an ingredient in cooking for food coloring and food flavoring.

There are various benefits of curcumin, which include:

  • It is a powerful anti-oxidant
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • May treat and prevent Alzheimer’s diseases
  • Provides relief for arthritis patients
  • Helps treat depression
  • May fight age-related problems and more

The Connection Between Curcumin and Cognition

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In 2006, a study was conducted to find out if curcumin has any effect on cognitive function. A study published in the journal of Experimental Neurology explored the effects of curcumin on rats. It was revealed that when rats were given a diet with curcumin for 4 weeks, their brain function experienced a spike. The BDNF level (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) was recorded at 140%. Since the study was done on rats, the results were considered inconclusive for human beings.

A research was published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry on March, 2018 related to curcumin. This was the first study conducted to find the effect of curcumin on human beings, which lasted for 18 months. Participants were given curcumin twice daily in their meals. To measure how their brain performed before and after the curcumin dose, FDDNP-PET scans were performed pre and post-treatment.

The results showed that cognitive and behavioral benefits are linked with a decrease in the tangle accumulation of brain and plaque. These areas, which are directly linked to regions that modulate memory and mood, saw a change when curcumin was ingested for a long time. It was further revealed that the boost in cognitive function may stem from the compound’s anti-inflammatory effects.

The Connection Between Curcumin and Mood

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Stress, depression and anxiety are three factors that are the biggest mood killers. You might find yourself getting irritated with every little thing and lash out unnecessarily. A better and safe alternative to benzodiazepines is curcumin supplements.

While scientists haven’t yet discovered how exactly curcumin works as a mood enhancer, they believe it has something to do with the compound’s anti-inflammatory properties. Obesity and mood disorders are closely related, which was also proved in a study published in the journal of Biological Psychiatry.

A study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine concluded that curcumin has anti-anxiety effects, which should be explored further. The study was done on obese patients, where they were given 1g of curcumin every day for 30 days. The results showed that curcumin reduced the BAI score by 3%.

The Bottom Line

These studies prove that curcumin has the potential to not just increase cognitive function but to also help Alzheimer’s patients live a longer and more meaningful life. Furthermore, it can help treat depression and anxiety in patients and might prove its benefits for normal human beings too. All these benefits are provided by curcumin’s potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

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