Study Sheds Light on How Turmeric Can Protect the Aging Brain from Decline

Written by on May 7, 2014 in Food, Drink & Nutrition, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

 | Naturalsociety | May 7th 2014

turmericThe many benefits of turmeric are well-established—from its cancer fighting properties to its ability to treat depression. A newer study indicates that the bright yellow root could also protect the brain from age-related brain dysfunctions, including things like stroke, dementia, and neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

According to the study, published in the journal Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, this brain-protection effect is a result of something called uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) and its role in reducing oxidative stress in the brain.

As GreenMedInfo reports, curcumin, the compound in turmeric that gives it its distinctive color, may be able to upregulate UCP2, protecting the brain from oxidation and related age-related damage.

The study used 24-month old male rats, giving them daily curcumin at a rate of .2%, comparing them with a control group of 6-month old male rats. After one month of the treatment, the older rats experienced a “remarkable restoration” in brain function, or the “impaired cerebrocascular endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation”, the ability of vessels in the brain to relax and allow blood to flow freely.

In addition, the researchers noted, the curcumin promoted phosphylation of AMPK and eNOS, both related to improved endothelial function and cardiovascular risk factors. The curcumin was also able to reduce production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) , which is associated with decreased oxidative stress and cell damage.

 ”In summary, our findings provide the first evidence that chronic pharmacological AMPK/UCP2 pathway activation by curcumin treatment may be an effective therapeutic strategy to reverse age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction,” the researchers wrote. “Curcumin administration may represent a promising lifestyle intervention for preventing age-related cerebrovascular disturbances.”

But this is far from the first study to link turmeric and curcumin to brain benefits. It’s the consumption of turmeric in countries like India that is often credited with their low rates of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

In one case study, “Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia,” three patients with Alzheimer’s saw dramatic improvements after taking 764 milligrams of the spice each day for 12 weeks.

In addition to a dramatic improvement in their moods, agitation, anxiety, and dementia, there were no negative side effects of the treatment.

While science attempts to sort out how turmeric is able to fight disease and degeneration that is often considered untreatable by conventional medicine, we can still experience the benefits now by adding this deep-flavored root to our cooking.

More from Naturalsociety

Tags: , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend