A recent study has shown that curcumin (from turmeric) can enhance brain DHA levels.
DHA is essential for brain development and protection and its deficiency is linked to neuropathology of several cognitive disorders, including anxiety.
DHA is primarily obtained through the diet from oily fish, such as sardines, tuna and salmon, but may also to a lesser extent be synthesised from dietary precursors, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), however the conversion efficiency is low.
Curcumin, the principal active component of turmeric, has previously been reported to complement the action of DHA and the current study was undertaken to determine the mechanisms involved. Reporting their findings in the May issue of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease, the US-based researchers discovered that curcumin elevates the levels of enzymes involved in the pathway of DHA synthesis from its precursors.
The researchers affirmed that these findings may have important implications for human health and in the prevention of cognitive disease, particularly in population groups eating primarily plant-based diets and those who do not consume enough fish to meet their dietary requirement of DHA, as a deficiency of this essential fatty acid is implicated in many types of neurological disorders.
Which form of turmeric should I use? Click here to read the answer.
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