Life expectancy is largely determined by the decisions people make along the way. Keeping the body’s vital organs healthy can ward off the risk of developing diseases that can shorten a person’s life, such as heart disease. Certain foods have been shown to provide a wide-range of health benefits. Evidence supports taking turmeric to boost brain and heart health.
Turmeric is a spice that has a rich history in Indian cooking. In recent years, the spice has been touted as a panacea for a wide-range of health issues.
Research suggests its main medicinal value is derived from its compound curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric.
Studies have shown that curcumin may benefit the brain and heart.
One study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin boosted cognitive function in people with mild, age-related memory loss.
The study examined the effects of an easily absorbed curcumin supplement on memory performance in people without dementia, as well as curcumin’s potential impact on the microscopic plaques and tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The people who took curcumin experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention abilities, while the subjects who received placebo did not.
In memory tests, the people taking curcumin improved by 28 percent over the 18 months.
Those taking curcumin also had mild improvements in mood.
Evidence also suggests that curcumin increases levels of hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Evidence suggests curcumin may reverse factors that lead to heart disease. One of its main heart-health benefits is its ability to boost the function of endothelium, which is the lining of a person’s blood vessels.
Evidence links endothelial dysfunction to heart disease risk as it involves an ability to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors.
Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study WHICH found that it’s as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin.
In addition, curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation, mechanisms which can contribute to heart disease.
The study randomly assigned 121 people, who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, either a placebo or four grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.
The curcumin group had a 65 per cent decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital.