(Mirror Daily, United States) – A very popular ingredient in the Indian kitchen, turmeric, has been recently shown to boost mood and memory in middle-aged people.

Turmeric has many health benefits since it is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, it can improve brain function and keep heart disease at bay. But a recent study shows that the spice can also improve memory and mood in older people.

Last year, a study found that turmeric can improve the odds of survival in pancreatic cancer patients. Other studies have linked it to better outcomes for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The many health benefits stem from a key ingredient found in turmeric – curcumin – which is the reason the spice has that yellowish color. Curcumin is a top anti-oxidant, which means that it can shield the body from the damage done by free radicals.

The latest study confirmed that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and that it can protect the brain from age-related issues.

The findings appeared in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

The Study

Lead author Gary Small, MD, who works at the University of California’s Longevity Center and his team asked 40 participants to join their study, Half of the volunteers were asked to eat turmeric for 18 months and half of participants were given a placebo.

The turmeric group took 90 mg of Theracurmin, a highly absorbable type of turmeric, twice a day. All volunteers underwent cognitive tests at the start of the trial and every 6 months.

Thirty participants got their brains scanned via positron emission tomography (PET) at the start and end of the study as doctors wanted to assess the buildups of beta-amyloid and tau proteins, which mark the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

After 18 months, participants who consumed turmeric as asked saw a 28% improvement in memory tests. The turmeric group also reported better mood, unlike those in the control group.
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