Newsbrief: Spice for Memory and Mood

Asian Spice May Boost Memory and Mood

Daily consumption of a supplemental form of curcumin, the substance that gives Indian curry its rich yellow color, improved memory and mood in people with mild age-related memory loss, according to the results of a study that appeared in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry on Jan. 19, 2018.

Researchers examined the effects of a 90-milligram curcumin supplement on memory performance in 40 study participants who had declining memory but did not have dementia. At the end of follow-up, participants who took the supplement experienced a 28 percent improvement in their memory and attention abilities, while the subjects who received placebo had no improvements.

Curcumin, a compound in the spice turmeric, has previously been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

If you’re thinking about taking a curcumin supplement, look for one that has met an independent reviewer’s criteria for potency and purity; ConsumerLab tests ( revealed that some supplements contain up to 50 percent less curcumin as promised on the label, and some were contaminated with heavy metals and “filth” (insect fragments and animal hair). 

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