FAQ: Is a Turmeric Supplement Considered to Be a Nootropic?

A Turmeric Supplement

Health supplementation can be very complicated, given how some supplements are less understood than others. One of the more common supplements used in modern lifestyles is turmeric curcumin, but this has not simplified its use. Turmeric curcumin supplements are among the most difficult supplements to use due to the lingering issues with their consumption. However, turmeric users can overcome the problems inherent in the substance. 

With time and knowledge, turmeric can easily become one of the most reliable tools to improve your health. Unfortunately, understanding how to use turmeric supplements is not the only important detail. Health supplements can fall into different categories based on the properties they possess. One important category is nootropics.

Nootropics are a special category of medical tools that are a growing sensation in modern medicine. With the significant role that nootropics play in modern medicine, you might think they are well-understood, but this is not the case. The average person might not be aware of what a nootropic is due to the relative youth of the concept. While the idea of a nootropic is fairly straightforward, it can be difficult to determine what qualifies as a nootropic. Namely, there is concern about whether turmeric supplements qualify as nootropics. Despite the complexity of most supplements, the answer to this question might be simpler than you expected. 

What is a Nootropic?

Before categorizing turmeric supplements as a nootropic, it is best to have an in-depth understanding of what a nootropic is. Nootropics, also known as "smart drugs," are specialized medications and supplements composed of synthetic and natural components. These nootropics were originally coined by Corneliu Giurgea, a psychologist and chemist of Romanian descent, in 1972. 

Giurgea originally identified nootropics as a molecule that selectively enhanced cognitive function. Despite discovering nootropic molecules 50 years ago, the molecules only became common tools in recent days. Despite that, Giurgea's research has established 5 criteria that determine whether a substance is a nootropic.

Nootropic Supplements

These criteria are:

  1. The substance must enhance memory and learning capacity.
  2. The substance must support neurological function under hypoxic conditions.
  3. The substance must protect against physical or chemical toxins.
  4. The substance must enhance natural cognitive functions.
  5. The substance must be non-toxic to human biology.

For a substance to qualify as a true nootropic, it must meet all 5 criteria. A lesser nootropic can meet 2 or 3 criteria. Nevertheless, it is best to opt for nootropics that meet all criteria rather than only a few. You must apply these criteria to any supplement you use and hope to identify as a nootropic. This brings us to the question of how many of these conditions are met by turmeric curcumin.

Does Turmeric Enhance Memory and Learning Capacity?

Turmeric curcumin is known for its broad range of health benefits that have turned it into one of the most beloved supplements in modern society. While these benefits are fairly extensive, determining whether turmeric meets Giurgea's criteria for nootropics is another matter. Fortunately, one of turmeric's most important benefits seems to meet the first criterion of enhancing memory and learning capacity. While most people view the nootropic effects as a way of bolstering memory for learning disabilities, there has been research linking turmeric to more advanced memory issues.

A Person Learning

Specifically, turmeric curcumin has been linked to combatting Alzheimer's disease by enhancing the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a gene that plays a large role in manufacturing the protein responsible for promoting neurons. This protein is known for its role in bolstering the memory and learning centers of the brain. Furthermore, low BDNF levels have been linked to Alzheimer's disease, meaning it is a more important protein than most people realize.

Fortunately, studies have linked turmeric consumption to increased BDNF levels in the body. Through animal studies, curcumin was administered to test subjects and elevated their BDNF levels. These increased BDNF levels can improve memory retention and improve your ability to pay attention. This means turmeric does enhance memory and learning capacity, so it meets the first criterion.

Does Turmeric Support Neurological Function Under Hypoxic Conditions?

Hypoxia is an oxygen issue that can affect anyone. Specifically, hypoxia is a condition where your body tissue is lacking in oxygen. Ordinarily, our lungs distribute oxygen throughout the body with every breath we take. Hypoxia is what happens when the proper amount of oxygen is not able to get through the body. Hypoxia can lead to lung or heart disease when left untreated, but it can also induce neurological issues such as memory loss or inhibited motor function. Coping with hypoxia can be challenging but managing the symptoms that affect your neurological health might be resolved by turmeric.

Woman Lacking Oxygen

One of the more well-known benefits of turmeric is its antioxidant effects, which protects the body from oxidative damage. While oxidative damage is caused by excess oxygen in the body, turmeric's benefits continue to function in these circumstances. Additionally, turmeric curcumin inhibits hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. While the latter is a physical ailment rather than a neurological one, it shows that turmeric can help manage the effects of hypoxia in the body.

While the effects of turmeric curcumin on hypoxia are somewhat limited, initial results indicate that it is a viable tool. This means that turmeric meets the initial requirements of Giurgea's 2nd criterion for nootropics. 

Does Turmeric Protect Against Physical or Chemical Toxins?

The human body is vulnerable to physical and chemical toxins that can compromise your overall health. When the word "toxin" is used, people tend to think of poisons, venomous animals, and similar items. However, toxins can also manifest internally without intervention from an outside source. Some toxins are more detrimental than others, especially those pertaining to major diseases like cancer. One of the most nefarious physical toxins is cancer cells that cause your body's immune system to attack itself. Despite being cells in the human body, they are still toxins that must be neutralized if possible.

Harmful Toxins

While cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases in the world and is very difficult to treat, early-stage cancer can be neutralized. While you should adhere to the advice provided by your primary care physician, some supplements have the potential to combat cancer cells. Turmeric curcumin is among the supplements studied for its ability to resist cancer cells. The studies on turmeric unveiled a surprising range of effects that could neutralize cancer cells before they spread too far. Specifically, curcumin was found to contribute to the death of cancer cells in the body and reduce the rate of metastasis to prevent the cancer from spreading to a crucial part of the body.

While there is little evidence supporting turmeric's ability to combat toxins like heavy metals or animal venom, the fact that it can combat naturally occurring toxins in humans is important. Therefore, turmeric can meet the 3rd of Giurgea's criteria for nootropics. 

Does Turmeric Enhance Natural Cognitive Functions?

The human brain is an amazing example of biology, allowing a small mass to control and regulate each person's living experience and actions. The brain regulates our cognitive functions, allowing us to process information, think critically, retain information and events, and more. Despite the amazing capabilities of the human brain, it has limitations to its natural cognitive abilities. Furthermore, the human brain's abilities can deteriorate as we age, costing us several cognitive functions we normally take for granted. While memory is the most vulnerable cognitive function, thanks to diseases like Alzheimer's, there is another function that is often overlooked.

One of the most important cognitive functions is mood regulation, which enables us to keep our emotions in check and interact with others. Mood regulation can be more challenging for some people, but those who struggle with mood regulation sometimes suffer from a lack of cognitive function. 

This is not to say that people struggling with their moods are inherently suffering from a neurological issue, but that bolstering the natural cognitive function of mood regulation might be necessary. As surprising as it might seem, there is evidence supporting curcumin as a tool for enhancing this particular cognitive function.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

The discovery that turmeric curcumin can help with mood regulation was a byproduct of another study assessing its use for Alzheimer's patients. The study involved 40 adults between the ages of 50 and 90. These subjects complained of memory issues for some time and were divided into a test group and a placebo group. The subjects in the test group were given 90 milligrams of curcumin twice a day for 18 months. 

While the study further reinforced the information that turmeric curcumin can help with Alzheimer's, it also affected mood regulation in the subjects. The subjects in the test groups showed a slight improvement in mood, allowing them to process their emotions better.

While more research is needed to reinforce these initial results, they are promising enough to claim that turmeric meets the 4th criterion. All that remains is the final criterion to determine if turmeric is a nootropic.

Is Turmeric Non-Toxic to Human Biology?

The biggest concern with any supplement or medication is the potential risks they bring to the one taking them. Many beneficial medications and supplements can cause side effects that are detrimental to your health. In some cases, the side effects are so toxic that they can kill the person taking the supplement. In most situations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medicine and supplements to keep harmful products off the market. Unfortunately, there are examples of harmful products that made it to the general market despite their harmful side effects.

Insofar as turmeric is concerned, the plant and subsequent supplements have been labeled safe for human consumption. While turmeric is a safe substance, there are situations where it can be harmful depending on the circumstances of the one using it. Fortunately, the harmful effects of turmeric are not inherent to turmeric and require negative interactions with other substances to induce. The most notable risk associated with turmeric supplements is when you are on blood thinning medication. Turmeric is a blood thinner, so combining it with prescription blood thinners can put you at risk of spontaneous bleeds or bleeding out.

Taking Turmeric Supplements

Additionally, women should not use turmeric at an advanced stage of pregnancy. There is limited research to suggest it might induce labor. Fortunately, these harmful side effects are so specific that the chances of you encountering them are almost non-existent. With this in mind, it is safe to say that turmeric meets all 5 of Giurgea's criteria for nootropics.

The Nu Healthier You

Turmeric curcumin is an extremely interesting substance that can offer a wide range of benefits for those using it. Despite being a root native to India, turmeric has spread across the globe to reach billions of people in need of a supplement. While turmeric has grown in popularity as more people are made aware of what it can offer, there are still many questions surrounding the plant. Turmeric's status as a nootropic is one of these questions, but one we feel has been thoroughly answered. 

Turmeric meets all of Corneliu Giurgea's criteria for identifying nootropic substances, meaning turmeric is a nootropic. While more research is required to cement turmeric's place in modern supplementation, the initial results are too promising to disregard. The only question is where to find a turmeric supplement you can trust.

Turmeric Capsule Supplements

We at NuVitality are here to offer our services in addressing that final query. We believe that natural products like turmeric can solve several health issues impacting the average person, which is why we have created our turmeric curcumin supplements. Our supplements provide the daily recommended dose of curcumin to your system while overcoming the bioavailability issues by adding piperine. Through our curcumin supplements, you can enjoy all the health benefits turmeric offers with minimal effort or concern. Our supplements are safe, healthy, and effective for introducing the effects of curcumin, and if you ever have any questions about them, you can contact us at any time. So, we urge you to visit our website and try our supplements for yourself to begin the journey to the Nu, healthier you.

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