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Curcumin found to improve memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss

Taking in curcumin daily may improve memory performance and reduce the likelihood of disease in the nervous system, according to a paper published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The double-blind study used a bioavailable form of curcumin (branded as Theracurmin) to test the effects of the compound – which is a polyphenolic derivative of turmeric – in older adults who exhibit normal signs of aging or mild cognitive disorders.

  • Researchers designed a randomized, double-blind and two-group study that compared placebo with curcumin. The team selected 46 eligible subjects from a total of 259 potential volunteers. The samples were aged between 50 to 90 years old, had no indicator for any neurodegenerative disease, and were able to participate in subsequent testing.
  • After baseline testing, the subjects were randomized to take either the placebo or curcumin (of which 90 milligrams are contained in Theracurmin) twice a day. The study ran for 18 months, with participants’ cognitive function evaluated every six months using various tests.
  • Verbal memory was tested using the Buschke Selective Reminding Test (SRT), where a subject was presented with a set of words and then asked to recall them immediately. Encoding (the ability to process new information) was evaluated using a similar manner. The subjects’ visual memory and attention were also tested, during this period. After completing the study, blood was taken from the samples to determine any changes in genetic data.
  • Results showed that people who took curcumin had better recall, visual memory, and attention than those who took the placebo. Moreover, tests also showed that curcumin was able to maintain amyloid and tau accumulation in the brain, which helped regulate mood and memory.

With the findings, researchers concluded that daily consumption of curcumin helps improve age-related memory decline as well as decrease the likelihood of neurodegeneration.

Find the full text of the study at this link.


Journal Reference:

Small GW, Siddarth P, Li Z, Miller KJ, Ercoli L, Emerson ND, Martinez J, Wong K-P, Liu J, Merrill DA, 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:

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