Cayla Dengate, a writer at The Huffington Post, covers the subject brilliantly!
The results, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found that in a double blind four-week trial of people aged between 60-80, those taking curcumin (turmeric) had a marked improvement in memory, and were better able to deal with stress after four weeks.
After more than 20 years researching the effects of herbs, spices and extracts on brain function, professor Andrew Scholey still gets excited by genuine scientific results.
The Centre for Human Psychopharmacology director has led research into everything from caffeine and alcohol to ginkgo biloba, ginseng, lemon balm and valerian with varied results.
He said his latest study into an active ingredient in turmeric, however, shows a promising ability to improve memory and reduce the effects of stress.
Scholey said the effect of stimulants on the brain make sense:
“The brain is very energetic — it’s metabolically active — even greedy if you will,” Scholey said.
“It’s about two percent of an average adult body weight but it consistently burns about 20 percent of our energy.
“This means it’s very susceptible to small changes in energy delivery, so agents that can improve blood flow or glucose to the brain or reduce inflammation can improve cognitive function.”
He said his team chose to research turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin because it had several properties you’d imagine would improve brain function, like reducing inflammation.