Curcumin is a constituent of the spice, turmeric (a common ingredient in curry). Research appearing in the journal Brain Research (2006; 1122(1): 56-64) shows that it may help to reverse some of the negative effects of chronic stress. Rats were subjected to 20 days of chronic stress. The stress adversely affected their physiology, behavior, and the ability to perform certain tasks. There researchers also noted abnormalities in some of the biochemical markers in the stressed rats (increase corticosterone levels, ratio of phosporylated cAMP response element-binding protein to CREB levels in the brain, decreases in mRNA expression, down-regulation of brain-derived neutrophic factor protein levels and increased thickness of the adrenal cortex). Giving the rats curcumin (dose =10 mg/kg of body weight) blocked the negative effects of the stress. A lower dose (2.5 mg/kg body weight) did not produce this effect.
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