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Curry may keep elderly minds sharp October 26, 2006

Posted by ionicflux in People.
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A diet containing curry may help protect the aging brain, according a study of elderly Asians in which increased curry consumption was associated with better cognitive performance on standard tests.

Curcumin, found in the curry spice turmeric, possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s known that long-term users of anti-inflammatory drugs have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, although these agents can have harmful effects in the stomach, liver and kidney, limiting their use in the elderly.

Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, have been shown to protect neurons in lab experiments but have had limited success in alleviating cognitive decline in patients with mild-to-moderate dementia.

In their study, Dr. Tze-Pin Ng from National University of Singapore and colleagues compared scores on the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) for three categories of regular curry consumption in 1,010 nondemented Asians who were between 60 and 93 years old in 2003.

Most of the study subjects consumed curry at least occasionally (once every 6 months), 43 percent ate curry at least often or very often (between monthly and daily) while 16 percent said they never or rarely ate curry.

Reuters

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