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Curcumin for Depression: Study Surprises Researchers

Curcumin and depressionCurcumin is an active ingredient in turmeric, which is the yellow pigment in curry spice. Small amounts of curcumin are also present in ginger.

Curcumin has developed a reputation as an anti-inflammatory supplement. It’s often used by those seeking relief from common symptoms of inflammation.

Many believe inflammation is the underlying cause of all disease, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

WebMD reports a host of potential benefits of turmeric and curcumin.

A recent study touts the anti-depressive effects of curcumin. The surprising aspect of this curcumin study is what happened during weeks 4-8.

The School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia reports via VitaSearch:

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 56 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), curcumin was found to have beneficial effects. Each individual was given 500 mg curcumin or placebo, twice daily, for 8 weeks. From baseline to week 4, both curcumin and placebo were associated with improvements in the primary measures for MDD.

However, from weeks 4 to 8, curcumin was significantly more effective than placebo in improving several mood-related symptoms. Greater efficacy from curcumin treatment was identified in a subgroup of individuals with atypical depression. The authors conclude that “there is significant evidence of the beneficial effects of curcumin on MDD patients. Investigations with larger sample sizes, over-extended treatment periods and with varying dosages are required.”

If you’re considering taking curcumin to help with depression, it’s important to consult your medical professional. Herbs often interact with pharmaceutical drugs. You want your doctor to be informed. You should also be concerned about purity. Since the supplement industry is largely unregulated, you should consider only taking supplements from companies that offer third-party validation of their ingredients or source their ingredients from suppliers who have been properly audited.


Curcumin for Depression: Study Surprises Researchers

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2018). Curcumin for Depression: Study Surprises Researchers. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 9 Apr 2018
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