Turmeric brain health: What are turmeric benefits for the brain?
Turmeric has so many health benefits and the curcumin in turmeric can improve brain function and lower your risk of brain disease. The health benefits of turmeric and curcumin include:
- Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with medicinal properties.
- Curcumin is a bioactive compound that can fight inflammation.
- Turmeric increases the antioxidant capacity of your body.
- Curcumin can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factors.
- Curcumin may reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Turmeric may help prevent cancer.
- Curcumin may be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
- Curcumin may help in the treatment of arthritis.
- Curcumin may treat depression.
- Curcumin may fight against age-related chronic diseases.
- Curcumin may improve brain function and lower your risk of brain diseases.
Turmeric is the main spice in curry. It comes from the turmeric plant. Many people use it to flavor and color rice, curry powders, cheeses, and butter. Turmeric contains about 3% curcumin by weight.
Curcumin is a bright yellow-orange chemical produced by Curcuma loga (turmeric) plants. Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric. It is used as a herbal supplement, a cosmetic ingredient, and also for food flavoring and coloring.
Apart from depression, there are so many different types of brain diseases. They include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism spectrum disorders, brain and nerve tumors, brain and spine trauma, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy-seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune disorders.
The symptoms of brain injury include vomiting, nausea, speech difficulty, bleeding from the ear, numbness, paralysis, memory loss, problems with concentration, high blood pressure, a low heart rate, and irregular breathing.
Treatment of brain disorders depends on the type of brain condition you have. It can be treated using a medication, rehabilitation, or surgery. Sometimes a change in your lifestyle and the type of drinks and foods you consume may help. Quitting the use, abuse, and misuse of recreational substances that may put your mental health in danger is recommended by many general practitioners (GPs) and psychiatrists.
However, the question remains unanswered. Can curcumin improve brain function and lower your risk of brain disease?
Ying Xu and colleagues, 2006, assessed whether curcumin may alleviate stress-induced depressive-like behaviors and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction. They found out that chronic curcumin administration reversed the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression, and phosphorylation of response element-binding protein (CREB). They concluded that their results gave enough evidence in support of the fact that curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress.
However, this study was done on rats. Results obtained from animal experiments may be different from those obtained from human investigations. Thus, more work needs to be done on humans.
Laura L. Hurley and colleagues, 2013, investigated the antidepressant potential of curcumin in a non-induced model of depression. They found out that curcumin resulted in a dose-dependent increase in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It also reversed the behavioral effects of depression. They concluded that “the data provide evidence for an antidepressant-like effect of curcumin, possibly through increased neurotrophic activity, in the Wistar Kyoto (WKY) model of depression, and support the notion that curcumin may prove an effective and lasting natural antidepressant.”
Suzhen Dong and colleagues, 2012, assessed behavioral performance and hippocampal cell proliferation in aged rats after 6- and 12-week curcumin-fortified diet. They found out that curcumin enhanced non-spatial and spatial memory, as well as dentate gyrate cell proliferation as compared to control diet rats. Their conclusion was that curcumin could be effective in delaying or even reversing brain diseases and age-related diseases that arise from or cause brain malfunction. However, the studies were done on rats. More investigations are needed on this subject and they need to be done on large numbers of human subjects.
Side effects of curcumin consumption:
Although curcumin is reported as safe to eat, some people suffer from side effects soon after consuming it. Some of the side effects of curcumin consumption are diarrhea, headache, rash, yellow stool, nausea, an increase in serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels.
In addition to improving brain function and lowering the risk of brain disease, curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory compound. It drastically increases the body’s antioxidant capacity, lowers your risk of heart disease, and delays aging, and fights against age-related diseases.
(1) All content found in my articles, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in my publications. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call the emergency hotline in your country immediately. My publications do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, or opinions. Reliance on any information in my publications is solely at your own risk.
(2) Some of the links on my blog are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of the companies, and I recommend them because they are extremely helpful. By using my affiliate links, you are helping me keep this blog up and running.