By: Alonso Chavarriaga
Treating depression usually involves a combination of therapy and medication, but these medicines can cause side effects such as weight loss, nausea, headaches, low libido, and insomnia. That may be changing, however, as a new study found that a certain compound can treat depression as effectively as drugs.
The spice turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. It’s long been known that curcumin had a positive impact on depression, but the evidence was either anecdotal or from animal studies.
Clinical Evidence of Curcmin’s Effects on Depression
Now, a study published in Phytotherapy Research has concluded that curcumin can help treat clinical depression in a way similar to medication. Researchers placed 60 people suffering from major depressive disorder into three randomized groups. Over six weeks, each group was treated either with Prozac, curcumin, or a combination of the two.
Each patient was measured using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), a well-accepted standard tool which tracks baseline scores, changes, and the final score. While curcumin was taken well by all patients, the group that received the combination treatment saw a positive improvement of almost 78 percent. The group that received only curcumin improved by 62 percent, while the Prozac group showed an almost 65 percent improvement.
Incredibly, the spice compound was almost as powerful as a lab-made drug. This find led the study authors to conclude that “this study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with major depressive disorder without concurrent suicidal thoughts or psychotic disorders.”
Depression is a serious medical disorder that affects more than 350 million people in the world. The National Institute of Mental Health describes depression as one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, and the feelings of sadness and hopelessness can be debilitating. By supplementing with curcumin, you may be able to fight depression naturally.
In the accompanying audio segment, Dr. Mike discusses the importance of curcumin for your health and the latest research on how curcumin may help treat depression.