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Curcumin For A Healthy Brain

Mar 30th 2020

Curcumin For A Healthy Brain

There’s a good reason why Asians who consume lots of curries retain sharp mental function and little cognitive decline with age. It’s turmeric, the spice that gives curries their golden color. More specifically, it’s the curcumin found in turmeric.

The best way to maintain a healthy, highly functional brain is to prevent out-of-control brain oxidation (“brain rust”) and its partner in crime, brain inflammation (“brain on fire”). And one of the best supplements you can take to do this is curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that is uniquely beneficial to the brain.

A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled trial done at UCLA found that when older adults with mild memory complaints were given just 180 milligrams of curcumin a day for a year and a half, they significantly improved their performance on memory and attention tests, enhanced their mood, and had less amyloid and tau (associated with Alzheimer’s disease) in the parts of their brains that control memory and emotional functions than a similar group taking a placebo.

Lead author, Dr. Gary Small, hypothesized that curcumin produced these results by reducing brain inflammation.  

Brain cells are especially vulnerable to oxidation and inflammation. Many brain experts believe that “brain on fire” is central to all neurodegenerative disease. In other words, the same smoldering fire in the brain that can cause poor brain function, a depressed mood, or even no symptoms at all may over time become a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s if it is not extinguished.

As a very small molecule, curcumin is able to pass through the “blood-brain-barrier,” a membrane that prevents most compounds from entering the brain. Once there, it does a wonderful job of quenching the “brain on fire.”  

At Beyond Health, we recommend at least two and preferably four 250-mg capsules of Beyond Health’s Curcumin Formula daily for most people. However, much more may be used to nutritionally support people with chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 


  1. Small G. Memory and brain amyloid and tau effects of a bioavailable form of curcumin in non-demented adults: a double-blind placebo-controlled 18-month trial.  The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. March 2018;26(3):266-277.
  2. Clough CG. Parkinson’s disease management. The Lancet. 1991;337(8753):1324-1327.




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