Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:43 and 3:43 a.m.

Curcumin for Humans

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Feeling chilly?  Eat cinnamon!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying:

That's the advice of researcher Mahtab Jafari, of the University of California, Irvine.

Over the years, her lab has screened a lot of chemical compounds. Why? To find ones with anti-aging properties. See, diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's ... all progress with age. Slowing aging could impact the progression of these diseases. 

Jafari's lab tests the compounds on fruit flies. Surprisingly, fruit flies and humans have a lot of disease genes in common!

The lab has identified three common botanical extracts that slow aging in flies: Green tea, curcumin, which is in the curry-spice turmeric, and—yes—cinnamon! Turns out cinnamon increases proteins that handle physical stressors like cold. Which is why eating it warms up both fruit flies and humans! In flies, it also acts on other pathways to slow aging.

Jafari says the up side of these botanicals is that they don't seem to have harmful side effects for humans.

Except for an insatiable craving for Cinnabons. Which keep you young! So says science.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.