Researchers have discovered that major depression is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and microscopic-level brain-cell damage.
These findings radically change our understanding of the causes and potential treatment of depression. Because of curcumin’s unique anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties, scientists are now exploring it as a novel antidepressant.
Animal studies going back nearly five years have shown that curcumin supplementation reduces depressive-like behaviors in established models of depression. More recently, studies in depressed humans are now confirming these results.
For example, taking 1,000 mg a day of a bioavailable curcumin has been found to be more effective than placebo at improving mood-related symptoms on standard depression scales. It was particularly effective in people with atypical depression, a variant of major depression that is often accompanied by weight gain, increased appetite, and lethargy.
At the same 1,000 mg/day dose, curcumin enhanced with bioperine reduced the symptoms of anxiety among a group of obese subjects with depression and anxiety.
In addition to these clinical benefits, research has shown that curcumin influences several salivary, urinary, and blood biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
By mid-2017, there was enough data on curcumin’s impact on depression to warrant a meta-analysis. That study, which included six clinical trials and 377 patients in total, confirmed yet again that curcumin effectively reduced depression as measured by standardized depression scores. Three of those studies also reported significant antianxiety effects.
No adverse events were reported in any of the trials, contrasting sharply with modern antidepressant drugs, which have side effects such as agitation, weight gain, insomnia, sexual problems, and increased suicidal tendencies.
Information provided by Dr. Dan Yachter, D.C., D.A.C.C.P., Elevation Health Lake Mary
Ref. Life Extension 2018