Trial of curry spice component suggests memory benefits

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By Philip Tubby | Wednesday 24 January 2018

Scientists have found evidence that a component of the curry spice turmeric could hold benefits for the brains in healthy individuals over 50. The US based researchers found that a twice daily dose of curcumin for 18 months improved memory and was linked to changes in two hallmark Alzheimer’s proteins, amyloid and tau. The findings are published The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Previous research has linked curcumin to memory and thinking benefits and while it’s positive to see studies moving into people, this relationship is by no means conclusive. Many natural products have been linked to health benefits, but it’s important for such approaches to be properly tested before they’re recommended to treat a particular condition or health concern. This small trial points to a mild positive impact of curcumin on memory and an early suggestion of an impact in the brain, but it does not tell us whether the supplement would hold any benefit against diseases like Alzheimer’s.

“The next logical step forward would be to see whether there is any impact of curcumin on someone’s risk of dementia. Until there is clearer evidence of benefits against a complex disease like Alzheimer’s, people with dementia shouldn’t stock up on supplies of curcumin or curry spice.”


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Philip Tubby