Scientists study the neuroprotective effects of fermented Curcuma longa L. (turmeric)

Korean researchers relayed their findings on the neuroprotective properties of fermented turmeric (Curcuma longa L). Using a mouse model, they showed that pre-treatment with fermented C. longa could mitigate memory impairment caused by scopolamine amnesia, as well as protect brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.

The study was sponsored and conducted by Keimyung University. The findings were published in the scientific journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Powdered C. longa was fermented with Lactobacillus plantarum K154 grown in yeast. This fermented powder was administered to mice orally.
  • The amnesiac scopolamine was injected into pre-treated and untreated mice. The animals were put through the passive avoidance test and Morris water maze test to test their cognition and memory.
  • Rat glioma C6 cells were treated with fermented C. longa. They were subjected to oxidative stress and analyzed for brain cell death to find out the protective antioxidant effects of fermented turmeric powder.
  • Murine BV2 cells received fermented turmeric treatments as well before getting analyzed for their production of inflammation-inducing nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). The inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) genes that produced inflammatories were also quantified.
  • Homogenized mice brain cells were analyzed for the levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) that inhibit the acetylcholine neurotransmitters in the brain. The amounts of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) that support long-term memory were also measured.

The researchers concluded that fermented C. longa could protect against memory problems and learning impairments. It could serve as an alternative or complementary therapy for age-induced neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

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