According to new findings from a recent study, eating curry will not only make you feel happier, it’ll help protect you against Alzheimer’s too.
The results found that taking curcumin – the ingredient that gives Indian recipes like curry its bright colour – everyday actually improves memory and mood in people with mild age-related memory loss.
The test was conducted by UCLA researchers and involved 40 adults who were all aged between 50 and 90-years-old and suffered mild memory loss.
Each of the participants was given either a placebo or 90 milligrams of curcumin twice a day for 18 months and their blood levels were tested every six months.
Additionally thirty volunteers also agreed to have extra scans to identify the levels of amyloid and tau – which are types of protein in the brain, and also very key indicators of Alzheimer’s in a person.
After the 18-month period, the results showed that those participants who took curcumin everyday experienced a huge difference in their memory and attention spans.
When sitting memory tests, these adults were also recorded as having a 28 per cent improvement plus small, positive changes to their moods.
The scans were also looked at and showed far less amyloid and tau in two parts of the brain that control memory and emotional functions.
In comparison, those who were just offered a placebo noticed no difference in their memory or mood, and their scans hadn’t improved.
Dr Gary Small, the director of geriatric psychiatry at UCLA’s Longevity Centre told The Sun, ‘Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and major depression.’
These results have paved the way for future testing on the effects of curcumin on the human brain and is welcome news to curry fans who can enjoy their favourite chicken curry recipes knowing it could be doing them good!
There are already talks of involving larger numbers of test subjects including some people who suffer with mild depression, in order to see the effects on antidepressants.
Dr Small added, ‘These results suggest that taking a relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years.’