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New Study Shows Curcumin to Slow Brain Aging (Here Are Our 4 Takeaways)

Curcumin is largely responsible for many of turmeric’s characteristics. For one, it’s the most active ingredient in turmeric. Second, it’s what gives turmeric its yellow-orange color. And third, it offers a wide range of health benefits: from being an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial to optimizing brain health to managing and preventing diabetes (1). This 5,000-year-old golden spice is packed full of flavor and benefits that don’t come around often.

And when it comes to curcumin’s impact on the brain, a 2021 study discovered even more about curcumin for brain health than we thought. So much so that it’s shifting views on this ingredient altogether (2). Here’s what to know about the study…

An Overview of the Study

Mortar and pestle filled with turmeric powder with turmeric root in background.

The study examined several recent studies on curcumin’s anti-aging capabilities. One major cause of aging is oxidative stress, something that curcumin likely prevents. Many disorders related to age, like neuroinflammation and cancer, are caused by inflammation—which curcumin decreases.

With this information in mind, the researchers examined how curcumin may be able to fight aging in the brain. They also took a look at ways to increase curcumin’s bioavailability, or how easily the body can absorb it to reap its benefits.

The study highlighted four ways in which curcumin can help protect the brain from aging and disease…

1. Inhibiting Brain Proteins Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

Curcumin targets a brain protein called Amyloid beta peptide (Aβ), the main component of the amyloid plaques that appear in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It inhibits the production of this protein, and thus reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s (3).

2. Serving as an Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory

From recent studies, we know two things:

  1. Oxidative stress occurs when your antioxidant levels are low. This can bring on age-related issues like memory loss (4).
  2. Inflammation has been linked as a potential contributor to dementia and other age-related cognitive issues, including Alzheimer’s disease (5).

Luckily, because curcumin is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it may help reduce the risk of these brain-related health issues (6).

3. Increasing Neuroprotection

The nervous system has a set of cells called microglial cells. Their job is to protect your immunity, and they can be key players when your brain experiences inflammation or infections. In a healthy resting brain, microglia are on the move to help monitor and protect it from injuries, neurodegeneration, and other concerns. Curcumin helps modulate your microglia and reduce inflammation around them so they can help protect your brain more efficiently (7).

4. Slowing Brain Cancer Progression

Curcumin has an impact on enzymes called telomerase, which may help slow the growth of certain brain cancers. Studies have found that curcumin may help to slow or stop cancer progression, and may slow the growth of cancers like glioblastoma (8, 9).

Our Thoughts

Curcumin’s neuroprotective qualities have been studied for a long time, but this 2021 study puts all of that research into a comprehensive review and offers a clear conclusion that’s tough to ignore. Simply put, the study makes it clear that curcumin is an excellent line of defense against brain aging and the many health issues that can come along with it. If you want to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, brain cancer, dementia, and other age-related brain issues, curcumin is the way to go.


In fact, we’re so confident about curcumin’s anti-aging qualities that we created a NativePath Curcumin formula! We combined 500mg of full-spectrum curcumin with 500mg of black seed oil, the ingredient responsible for increasing curcumin’s bioavailability so that you can experience its health benefits in full. Along with increasing bioavailability, black seed oil contributes additional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Taking two softgels a day is a simple way to keep your brain feeling youthful, sharp, and free of brain fog.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is curcumin?

Curcumin is the most notable active ingredient in turmeric. It makes up about 2% to 8% of turmeric and is responsible for most of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties that make turmeric so healthy (10, 11).

What's the difference between turmeric and curcumin?

Curcumin is one of many plant ingredients that make up turmeric. While curcumin itself is particularly potent in its health benefits, turmeric also offers health benefits of its own (12). That said, most people looking for highly concentrated health results rely on curcumin.

When should I start using anti-aging products?

For the best results, many studies indicate that people who are 65 and older see the best results from anti-aging products.

What's the most bioavailable form of curcumin?

If you’re wondering where to buy curcumin with the most bioavailability, reach for full-spectrum curcumin with black seed oil. This unique blend is up to 185X more absorbable than other turmeric supplements on the market.

For many years, experts believed black pepper was the most effective ingredient to pair with curcumin to increase its bioavailability. And for a while, they were right. However, a recent study led by four major universities found that black seed oil has an even better impact on the body’s ability to absorb curcumin (13). Black seed oil is the best choice to get the very best of curcumin’s neuroprotective qualities.

As a writer, editor, and wellness seeker, Claire has written for Self, Health, Prevention, CNN, Mic, Livestrong, and Greatist, just to name a few. When she's not writing, she specializes in traveling, getting lost in health-related research rabbit holes, and finding new ways to spoil her cat.

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Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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