Curcumin Reduces Symptoms of Major Depression More Than 50%
A new study finds curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, may be a potent depression fighter. The latest evidence adds to the results of a 2014 study that showed the spice was as effective as the antidepressant Prozac. Since prescription drugs for the disorder have been linked to serious problems like suicidal thoughts and violence, perhaps it’s time to abandon them in favor of this natural alternative.
Curcumin Proved Especially Beneficial for Atypical Depression
In the research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, scientists used the gold standard method, which is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Their results showed curcumin was especially helpful for atypical depression, a diagnosis that accounts for 40 percent of people afflicted with major depressive disorder (MDD). The malady is characterized by weight gain, excessive sleep and interpersonal rejection sensitivity. Because atypical depression patients tend to suffer from the condition chronically and have worse outcomes, the new study gives hope that this natural treatment may lead to a better prognosis.
The researchers from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia used a highly absorbable form of curcumin. They treated 123 MDD patients with one of four options: placebo, 250 mg of curcumin extract, 500 mg of curcumin extract and a combination of 250 mg curcumin with 15 mg of saffron. The intervention period was 12 weeks. Symptoms were monitored through two self-report questionnaires, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology.
Two-Thirds of Atypical Depression Patients Received More Than 50 Percent Symptomatic Relief
Analysis of the findings revealed the value of the spice for mental health. Both doses of curcumin as well as the combination of curcumin and saffron produced significantly more improvements than the placebo. However, the symptom reduction was approximately twice as effective in patients with atypical depression as in patients with other forms of MDD. In addition, the curcumin relieved signs of anxiety.
Response to treatment was defined as symptomatic relief greater than 50 percent. Of the group of MDD participants, 13 percent of those who took the placebo experienced the response, while 28 percent of those who took the curcumin experienced the response. Among the subgroup of patients with atypical depression, 65 percent received this large symptomatic reduction.
Side Effects of Curcumin vs Side Effects of Antidepressants
The treatment was well tolerated. Diarrhea and a spicy aftertaste were the two most commonly reported side effects. This compares favorably with the host of antidepressant side effects that include nausea, weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, constipation, anxiety, dizziness and irritability. As aforementioned, the drugs have also sometimes been associated with suicidal thoughts and violence.
Is should be emphasized that the participants in the study were people who had been diagnosed with major depression as opposed to those who were merely feeling blue. Since the power of non-drug remedies can sometimes be underestimated, the findings are a reminder of the magnitude of their worth.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.