Curcumin Supports Cognition and Mood in Clinical Trial

Noblesville, IN— A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that there may be a correlation between curcumin and improved cognition and mood in older adults.

While curcumin has been associated with a variety of health benefits and been the subject of study before, the authors of this study note that “this is the first study to examine the effects of curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population or to examine any acute behavioral effects in humans.”

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial took place at the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, using 60 healthy older adults as subjects. An hour after being supplemented with 400 mg of a branded curcumin supplement (Longvida Optimized Curcumin from Verdure Sciences), the subjects took several validated tasks relating to attention and working memory. Biological markers related to calmness, contentedness and fatigue were also taken following a 30-day supplementation period.

The initial cognitive tasks showed a superior performance from the curcumin group over the placebo group, and measures taken after the 30-day supplementation period showed higher levels of calmness and contentedness, with reduced fatigue in the curcumin group. No side effects or dropouts were reported. While more study will be needed to confirm the exact nature of this link, the study authors have suggested a possible mechanism behind these results. Their idea centers on curcumin improving cognition and fatigue by supporting the maintenance of energy levels and ability to meet energy demands through its effects on mitochondrial function, AMP-activated protein kinase and glucose uptake and regulation. 

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, January 2015 (online 10/27/2014)