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Turmeric for Brain, Body Health

Turmeric can help keep your brain and body healthyWant to help boost your mood? Add some turmeric to your cooking. Turmeric is the spice that makes curry orange and American mustard bright yellow, and is a potent natural anti-inflammatory agent. Its active constituent, curcumin, has shown promise as an antidepressant in animal models (it appears that curcumin actually enhances nerve growth in areas of the brain associated with emotional equilibrium).

While it’s too soon to conclude that turmeric and/or curcumin are truly antidepressants, the good news is that research has clearly indicated several physical benefits of consumption, including a lowered risk of cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. So there’s no reason not to consume them!

Unfortunately, both are poorly absorbed by the GI tract, but a compound in black pepper called piperine has been found to greatly increase absorption. So add turmeric and black pepper to your meals, and look for turmeric or curcumin supplements that contain piperine or black pepper extract. Follow the dosage instruction on the labels. You can take either indefinitely, and they are safe to take along with pharmaceutical antidepressants.

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Reader Comments (3)

Neither New Chapter's Turmeric Force nor Source Naturals' Meriva Turmeric Complex contain piperine, yet the companies say their products are highly absorbable. Dr. Weil, what is your assessment of these claims?

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPriondragas

I'm a big fan of the benefits of turmeric, but what I really want to do is grow my own. Don't think I can do that effectively in Los Angeles, though.

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Aluzas

What turmeric supplement do you recommend?

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda B.

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