A study indicates that turmeric can protect the brain from age-related brain dysfunctions, including stroke, dementia, and neurodegenerative disease.
According to the study, published in the journal Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, this brain-protection effect is a result of something called uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) and its role in reducing oxidative stress in the brain.
As GreenMedInfo reports, curcumin, the compound in turmeric that gives it its distinctive color, may be able to upregulate UCP2, protecting the brain from oxidation and related age-related damage.
In addition, the researchers noted, the curcumin promoted phosphylation of AMPK and eNOS, both related to improved endothelial function and cardiovascular risk factors. The curcumin was also able to reduce production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) , which is associated with decreased oxidative stress and cell damage.
But this is far from the first study to link turmeric and curcumin to brain benefits. It’s the consumption of turmeric in countries like India that is often credited with their low rates of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.