Turmeric is commonly known as a cooking spice, especially as a key ingredient in many Asian dishes. However it has been discovered that curcumin--the active ingredient in turmeric--has beneficial properties which, to this day, continue to be investigated. These properties have been deemed effective enough to be included in a range of nootropic products. Since 2012, curcumin has remained a largely popular dietary supplement. With this in mind, let's explore just how effective turmeric is.
A spicy history
In its time, turmeric has had a wide variety of uses and applications extending well beyond its modern role as a culinary ingredient. It has dated back thousands of years to being used in traditional Indian medicine, particularly in the treatment of indigestion, colds, and throat infections (Chattopadhyay et al. 2004). While turmeric isn’t the best in making fabric dye, it is still commonly used for Indian and Bangladeshi clothing (Brennan 2008). Turmeric fabric dye is predominantly used in traditional garments, such as the sari, or Buddhist monk robes. The use of the dye is rooted in tradition rather than its effectiveness or quality as a dye.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, was isolated in 1815 by French scientists, who identified it as the “yellow colouring-matter” in turmeric (Vogel & Pelletier 1815, p. 289). Since its discovery and isolation, curcumin has been sold in a variety of forms: an agent for food flavouring and colouring, a cosmetics ingredient, and as a herbal supplement and nootropic. To this day, extensive clinical studies and research has been put into curcumin, attempting to establish consistent results for its potential medical use.
Heating you up
While research into the medical benefits and workings of turmeric, specifically curcumin, is still ongoing, there has been enough information gathered to understand how this ingredient works in a nootropic capacity. Despite continued trials into the matter, it is still believed that curcumin can increase brain levels of ‘Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)’ - a type of growth hormone inside the brain (Xu et al. 2006). BDNF is responsible for not only contributing to the growth of new neurons, but supporting the survival of older neurons currently in existence. BDNF plays an important role in memory, particularly long-term memory.
Curcumin has been tested as a tool for treating depression, and the results of these studies have given us more of an idea as to how it functions within the human body. Researchers from India (Kulkarni et al. 2008) and China (Xu et al. 2005) both concluded that curcumin can boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, both related to mood and emotion. Studies into curcumin and depression also further reveal how BNDF can lead to brain benefits: depression has been linked to a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area involved with learning and memory tasks, and BNDF has been shown to reverse this shrinkage (Kulkarni et al. 2009).
Ultimately, it has become clear that research is beginning to suggest that curcumin, and turmeric as a result, is able to induce positive effects and results on individuals through its interactions with BDNF and the wider brain as a whole.
That bright, iconic shine
Through understanding how turmeric produces results in the brain, and the type of research it has featured in, it is clear as to why it has been selected as a leading ingredient in shine+. Some research has suggested that the increase in BDNF levels directly correlates to improved memory capacity and cognitive ability (Belviranli et al. 2013). With many of shine+’s other ingredients focused on enhancing brain focus and memory, it should come as no surprise that turmeric’s primary nootropic function is of the same kind.
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Ever wondered what gives shine+ its iconic, recognisable tinge of orange? That would be curcumin at work! Curcumin is a quite popular dietary supplement and food colouring substance. Curcumin is especially popular in Japan, where there is a wide array of turmeric-flavoured drinks sold. This demand for turmeric beverages is where shine+ fills in the niche, delivering it straight to the public.
Looking for a new drink to spice up your life? Look no further than shine+--scientifically formulated to help you perform at your best!
Belviranli, M., et al., (2013), Curcumin improves spatial memory and decreases oxidative damage in aged female rats. Biogerontology 14 (2), pp. 187-196
Brennan, J., (2008), Turmeric. The National, <http://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/house-home/turmeric>
Chattopadhay, I. et al., (2004), Turmeric and curcumin: Biological actions and medicinal applications. Indian Academy of Sc
iences 87 (1), pp. 44-53
Kulkarni, S. et al., (2008), Antidepressant activity of curcumin: involvement of serotonin and dopamine system. Psychoharmacology 201 (435)
Majeed, S., (2015), The State of the Curcumin Market. Natural Products Insider, <https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/articles/2015/12/the-state-of-the-curcumin-market.aspx>
Oregon State University, (2016), Curcumin. <http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin>
Pelletier, J., Vogel, H., (1815), Curcumin-biological and medicinal properties. Journal de Pharmacie 1, p. 289
Xu, Y., et al., (2005), The effects of curcumin on depressive-like behaviors in mice. European Journal of Pharmacology 518 (1), pp. 40-46
Xu, Y., et al., (2006), Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Brain Research 1122 (1), pp. 56-64
Wolfstein, R. (2017). Is Topical Turmeric Powder Or Paste An Unstoppable Acne Clearer?. [online] Supernaturalacnetreatment.com. Available at: http://supernaturalacnetreatment.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/topical-turmeric-can-clear-acne.jpg [Accessed 2 Mar. 2017].