Want To Build More Muscle as You Age? Add Turmeric to Your Food, Say Scientists

Scarlett Wrench
Photo credit: BrindleBerry - Getty Images

From Men's Health

It's the key ingredient of a good biryani – and, more recently, Instagram's favourite food colouring, responsible for golden lattes, sunshine smoothies and bright-yellow energy balls.

But turmeric is more than just another faddy superfood: it's a natural anti-inflammatory, and studies have shown it can be as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief, while speeding up your post-training recovery.

Now research suggests it might be beneficial for a less double-tap-happy crowd, too: older athletes looking to maintain muscle mass. For a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, scientists wanted to investigate whether curcumin – the active compound in turmeric – might be able to stave off age-related muscle loss.

To do this, they fed old rats (not gym rats, actual rats) a diet with or without curcumin for four months, and found that those who were supplemented retained significantly more muscle mass. The good news is that they're optimistic that this effect might carry over to humans, too.

Either way, it sounds like an excellent excuse for a curry.

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