Cutting edge studies in neuroscience are providing ever increasing evidence that chronic inflammation in the brain is one of the major risk factors in age-associated cognitive decline. In addition to common measures -- such as lifestyle changes, healthy diet and nutrition, exercises, and stress management to reduce brain inflammation -- a form of highly bioavailable curcumin has been shown to be beneficial for brain health.
Curcumin, the active compound extracted from the Turmeric root, is the key contributor to the yellow color in the curry. Curcumin has been used in India and China as an important medicinal herb for over 3000 years. In the past 60 years, extensive studies on curcumin have revealed its broad health benefits and demonstrated its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative functions. The cognitive benefits of curcumin was first observed in an epidemiologic study that showed Indian people who consume yellow curry regularly have lower dementia incidents than Americans in the same age group.
Eating yellow curry daily in food form is great for your brain health. However if you take curcumin (or turmeric) in the form of supplements, most of it will end up in the toilet instead of in your brain because standard curcumin has low bioavailability. In other words, the body finds it difficult to absorb into the blood stream.
A double-blind and placebo-controlled study published in 2018 by Dr. Gary Small, Director of UCLA’s Longevity Center, and his team reported that the test group showed significantly improved cognitive functions after taking a highly bioavailable form of curcumin – Theracurmin Curcumin. Produced with patented nanotechnology, Theracurmin Curcumin has a particle size 100 times smaller than the regular curcumin. Because of its smaller size, it can be absorbed easily into the bloodstream, and then enter into the brain after passing the brain blood barrier. After 18 months people in the test group showed significantly improved long term and short term memory, as well as better moods. The PET scans also showed significantly healthier brain structure in amygdala and hypothalamus, two regions involved in memory, mood and decision making.
One thing we all have in common is that we want to protect our precious brain and our invaluable memory. We cannot afford to lose this battle. As we are aging daily, the clock is ticking, and time is not on our side. Act early.
Peipei Wishnow, PhD, Founder and President of Interceuticals, a Salem, MA company devoted to integrating the best of both Western and Eastern Healthcare practices. Interceuticals specializes in proven clinically tested natural supplements for aging related issues, including cognitive health, bladder/urinary health and joint health.