Richard G. Petty, MD

Curry and Cognition

During a visit to Singapore a couple of years ago, I heard about some interesting research that’s just been published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The authors did something fairly simple. They took a group of 1,010 people with no evidence of dementia aged 60-93 years, and correlated their consumption of curry with their cognitive performance. Studies like this are not easy: what if more intelligent people like eating curry to begin with? What if sick people can’t get out to the local curry house? And so on.

But the researchers did this all very carefully: they took into account all the known sociodemographic, health, and behavioral determinants of performance on a simple cognitive test. So they controlled for many of the other factors that can accelerate cognitive decline, like depression, smoking, drinking alcohol, high blood pressure, glucose and lipids.

The result was that people who occasionally or often ate curry had significantly better cognitive function than people who "never, or rarely" ate curry.

Is there any logic to this?

Well in fact there is. Curcumin, from the curry spice, turmeric, has been shown to possess potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties and to reduce beta-amyloid and plaque burden in experimental studies. There have been serious suggestions about using active constituents of tumeric to try and prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

This research is all very encouraging. The amount of curcumin used in the experimental studies is similar to the amount ingested by having a couple of curries a week, and now the epidemiological study from Singapore suggest that those couple of curries may have a clinically measurable effect.  That’s not to say that eating curry three times a day is going to be even better.

All things in moderation: too much curry can play havoc with your digestive processes.

And your relationships….

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

logo logo logo logo logo logo