A compound found in turmeric, the yellow spice used in curry dishes, promotes stem cell proliferation in the brain, a study has found.
The findings published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy suggest the spice could be a future drug candidate for treating neurological disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Jülich, Germany, studied the effects of the compound ar-turmerone on the brains of rats.
Lead author of the study, Adele Rueger, said: “While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine. Our findings on aromatic turmerone take us one step closer to achieving this goal.”
Ar-turmerone is the lesser-studied of two major bioactive compounds found in turmeric. The other compound is curcumin, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
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