Health Innovation Research


Curcumin Study for Brain Health

Are you interested in contributing to research for brain health?

If so, you could help assess a bioavailable curcumin product aimed at stimulating production of new brain cells and strengthening existing brain cells.

Check your eligibility here

Thank you for your interest in a new study being conducted by RDC Clinical in partnership with UQ which is evaluating the effectiveness of orally-dosed curcumin, on increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a neurotrophin essential for neuronal development and survival. It helps to regulate synaptic plasticity which is important for cognitive function, including learning and memory. BDNF may also protect against neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

To help with this study, we’re looking for healthy adults aged 18-40 years who are living in Brisbane (or surrounds).

How long is the study, and when does it start?

Participation in this study will last for 6 weeks. During this time, you’ll be asked to attend our clinic in Newstead, Brisbane, on 3 occasions to complete a questionnaire about your health, have some measurements taken (such as height, weight and blood pressure), and have a blood test done. You will be given the study product in capsule form to take once daily for the duration of the study. To make the timings of these visits as convenient as possible to you, we are recruiting on a rolling basis which means that the start date is flexible.

The timings of assessments are:

  • Your initial assessment at a date convenient to you (we are open Monday-Saturday)
  • Your midpoint assessment approximately 3 weeks after your initial visit
  • Your final assessment approximately 6 weeks after your initial visit

If you’re interested in taking part, we’d love your help. Please see below for more information. The eligibility & registration form is at the bottom of the page.

About the product you’ll help test…Curcumin

Studies have shown that curcumin reduces markers of inflammation and increases levels of endogenous antioxidants in the body. There is also some indication that curcumin may be beneficial for brain function, however it is generally poorly absorbed by the body. The specialized formula of curcumin being assessed in this study has enhanced ability to dissolve in the stomach and therefore increase bioavailability and efficacy.

Curcumin will be taken as a 500 mg daily dose in capsule form. The trial product is to be stored in the containers provided, at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

As this study is placebo controlled, you may or may not be using the active product. 50% of participants will be assigned a placebo, microcrystalline cellulose (a harmless inactive substance typically used as an additive in food production).

Why is this study being conducted?

The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of orally delivered curcumin, compared to a placebo, on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

A recent trial found that participants who took a combined iron and curcumin supplement experienced significant increases in BDNF levels when compared to just iron supplementation alone. This study is being conducted to see if curcumin supplementation alone has beneficial effects on BDNF levels.

What is required of participants?

The study will involve approximately 70 adults. During your first assessment, you will be given a questionnaire to complete about your health and quality of life, we will take some measurements such as height, weight and blood pressure and take a blood sample for analysis. You will then be assigned trial product to take for the 6-week study period. You will be asked to return to the clinic to repeat the same assessment midway (after 3 weeks) and after you have completed the 6-week study period.


The information we collect during the study will enable the investigators to assess the product’s effectiveness on BDNF over the 6-week study period.


If you’re an otherwise healthy adult and would like to participate, we’d love to hear from you. Please register your interest by answering the questionnaire and completing the form on this page… we’ll then get in touch to screen you for eligibility.

Check if you can take part… study participant requirements.
  • Aged between 18 and 40
  • Generally healthy with no uncontrolled serious illness
  • Non-smoker
  • Agree not to take supplements (eg. Curcumin, iron, resveratrol, fish oil) that may affect BDNF for the duration of the trial, and within 2 weeks of commencing the study
  • Not currently taking any medications for depression or anxiety, or have taken these in the previous 6 months
  • Able to commit to taking the study product daily for 6 weeks and attend our clinic site in Newstead 3 times
  • Females: NOT currently trying to conceive, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Please register your interest by answering the questionnaire and completing the form on this page… we’ll then get in touch to screen you for suitability.

Ethics approval & privacy… you’ll be in safe, professional hands.

This study has been approved by the University of Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval Number: 2020002221).

Trained Trial Coordinators will supervise your progress throughout the study. Your results will be made available to you at the conclusion of the study. Any of your personal information collected during the study will be kept in the strictest confidence.