Curry spice turmeric boosts memory by nearly 30% AND eases depression, study finds


Turmeric may boost people’s memories by nearly 30 percent and ease depression, new research suggests.

Taking a compound found in the popular Indian spice, known as curcumin, causes people to have significantly less protein build-up in the regions of the brain associated with memory and emotion, a US study found.

Past studies have linked the onset of Alzheimer’s disease to the accumulation of protein plaques in the brain.

Curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow color, is thought to improve memory and boost mental health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation has previously been linked to both dementia and severe depression.

Study author Dr Gary Small from the University of California, LA, said: ‘These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years.’

Curcumin has been used as a herbal remedy in arthritis, cancer and heart disease.

Turmeric may boost people's memories by nearly 30 percent and ease depression (stock)

How the study was carried out

The researchers analyzed 40 people aged between 50 and 90 years old who took either 90mg of curcumin twice a day or placebo for 18 months.

The study’s participants complained of slight memory issues but were otherwise healthy.

Curcumin was taken via the easily-absorbed supplement Theracurmin.

During the study, the participants’ heart rhythms, thyroid function and overall wellbeing was assessed every three months.

Thirty of the participants also underwent brain scans.

‘Curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits’

Results reveal taking curcumin for 18 months boosts people’s memories by 28 percent.

The compound also improves their concentrations.

Dr Small said: ‘These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years.’

The researchers plan to conduct larger trials in people with a genetic risk for dementia.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.


Turmeric may prevent osteoporosis, research revealed in May last year.

The popular Indian spice helps to build and repair bone mass in the elderly, a study by Genoa University found.

Taking a turmeric supplement improves bone density by up to seven per cent over six months, the research adds.

A compound in turmeric, known as curcumin, is thought to balance out cells that remove ageing parts of bone before it is replaced, according to previous findings.

Almost three quarters of elderly people suffer declining bone density, which can cause osteoporosis and is responsible for around 65,000 potentially fatal fractures each year in the UK.

Low bone mass density affects nearly 44 million people in the US.

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