Put Wellness Within Reach

Best supplement for the brain: Taking this twice a day may boost your brain health

BEST supplements for the brain: Growing evidence makes a strong case fortaking natural remedies. The health benefits include warding off potentialailments and improving overall wellbeing. One study suggested an activeingredient may improve brain health. Improving the brain's vital faculties is important at any age. Although, as aperson ages, preservation also becomes a top priority. Making simple lifestyletweaks can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. One study found taking acurcumin - the active ingredient in turmeric - may help to improve brainhealth. According to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers,daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin improved memory and mood inpeople with mild, age-related memory loss. The research, published in theAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, examined the effects of an easilyabsorbed curcumin supplement on memory performance in people without dementia,as well as curcumin's potential impact on the microscopic plaques and tanglesin the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. Found in turmeric, curcuminhas previously been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant propertiesin lab studies. It also has been suggested as a possible reason that seniorcitizens in India, where curcumin is a dietary staple, have a lower prevalenceof Alzheimer's disease and better cognitive performance. "Exactly how curcuminexerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reducebrain inflammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer's disease andmajor depression," said Dr. Gary Small, director of geriatric psychiatry atUCLA's Longevity Center and of the geriatric psychiatry division at the SemelInstitute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and the study's firstauthor. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved 40 adults betweenthe ages of 50 and 90 years who had mild memory complaints. Participants wererandomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 90 milligrams of curcumintwice daily for 18 months. All 40 subjects received standardised cognitiveassessments at the start of the study and at six-month intervals, andmonitoring of curcumin levels in their blood at the start of the study andafter 18 months. Thirty of the volunteers underwent positron emissiontomography, or PET scans, to determine the levels of amyloid and tau in theirbrains at the start of the study and after 18 months. The people who tookcurcumin experienced significant improvements in their memory and attentionabilities, while the subjects who received placebo did not, Small said. Inmemory tests, the people taking curcumin improved by 28 percent over the 18months. Those taking curcumin also had mild improvements in mood, and theirbrain PET scans showed significantly less amyloid and tau signals in theamygdala and hypothalamus than those who took placebos. The amygdala andhypothalamus are regions of the brain that control several memory andemotional functions. Four people taking curcumin, and two taking placebos,experienced mild side effects such as abdominal pain and nausea. "Theseresults suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin couldprovide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years," said Small. How muchcurcumin is safe to take?

Reference : Express.co.uk