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Turmeric for a healthy brain / Memory boost

Turmeric for a Healthy Brain: Part II
March 28, 2012 By Ruth Buczynski, PhD
Have you had your turmeric yet this week?In a recent post, I talked about the neuroplastic possibilities of curcumin (a brain-boosting chemical in turmeric) for slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.Did that convince you to start eating it? If not, consider this my second attempt.Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease isn’t the only benefit from eating turmeric.We were curious and so did a PubMed search. We came across so many other important studies on curcumin that we had to share some of them with you.Let’s start with some more brain benefits.A randomized, controlled study published in the journal PLoS ONE looked at the neurogenetic potential of prolonged curcumin use.Neurogenesis is the process by which neurons are created in the brain, including in the hippocampus (one of the centers of neural learning).Researchers led by Z. Zhao out of the Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Shanghai, China looked at performance and brain growth in rats after 6 and 12 weeks on a curcumin-fortified diet.(I hope those sweet rats got something tasty.)The result?Curcumin enhanced memory (both spatial and non-spatial), as well as hippocampal cell growth compared to rats in the control group.But in addition to brain health, curcumin has been linked to:
  • The slowing of prostate tumor growth (S. A. Shah et al. Cancer Research, 2012)
  • Prevention and treatment of tendinitis (C. Buhrmann et al. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011)
  • Increasing the effectiveness of drugs used to fight colon, neck and head cancers (I. Aroch et al. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, 2010 and W. M. Abuzeid et al. Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 2011)

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