Tired of misplacing your keys?

Or forgetting important appointments?

Does your memory just not seem to be working as well as you think it should?

A new study out of UCLA found that an ingredient in the Indian spice turmeric may help improve your memory.


The study evaluated the impact on memory of a therapeutic grade of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, on forty subjects ages 51-84. Half of the subjects received 90g of curcumin twice a day or a placebo for 18 months. Researchers measured changes in visual memory, attention, and brain signals at several intervals during the trial.

Significant differences were found between the curcumin and placebo groups in long-term retrieval, visual memory, and attention.

The group who received the curcumin improved by 27% on standard memory tests.

In addition, brain scans found that the improvements seen in the curcumin group were associated with visible changes in brain regions that control both mood and memory.

Damage to these regions of the brain have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The findings of this study may be one step towards identifying active ingredients in food that may prevent or slow the progression of this devastating disease.

Researchers don't quite know how curcumin works to improve memory, but they believe it has to do with the compound's powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

The thinking is that reducing overall brain inflammation improves brain function.


Sean McCormick

"It's exciting to see new research validating the impact of curcumin on cognitive health. I do not think we've even scratched the surface of what curcumin can do for cognition, inflammation and fighting disease."


It's not surprising that curcumin has been found to have another major health benefit. Thousands of studies confirm that curcumin is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants on the planet.

I have seen turmeric popping up as an ingredient all over, from golden lattes to the increasing popularity of curry. Although turmeric is quite tasty as a spice on its own, be aware that it only contains about 3% of the active ingredient curcumin, which is was the beneficial compound in this study.

If you really want to get the most benefit from curcumin and improve your memory, you will have to do more than just add turmeric to your latte. Consider a curcumin supplement so you can get a higher dose of the active ingredient.

Be sure to take it with a meal that contains some fat because it is a fat-soluble compound. Or look for a curcumin product that already has fat in it to improve absorption.

Curcumin can help you improve your memory and your health. And maybe it will even help you find your keys! 

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