Super Spice: Can Turmeric Cure Depression?

RadioMD (All Shows) show

Summary: Recent research suggests that curcumin, the main compound in the spice turmeric, may be effective in fighting depression.Antidepressants come with significant side effects, such as nausea, weight gain and headaches. While some side effects go away after a few weeks, others persist and worsen to where it is serious enough to make you stop taking the medication. Finding the right medication can be a lengthy and costly process. What is ever more worrisome, is some studies raise questions about their effectiveness. A recently published clinical trial involving major depressive disorder (MDD) demonstrated that BCM-95 Curcumin had the same effectiveness of the prescription drug fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac) but without negative side-effects. The trial was conducted from 20 volunteers who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. These volunteers either received BCM-95 Curcumin (500 mg capsules twice daily); fluoxetine (20 mg daily) or a combination of the two. The trial found that Curcumin worked as well as the prescription drug. This is the first human clinical evidence that curcumin (BCM-95 Curcumin) may be used as a therapy for patients with MDD.  Curcumin is the main compound in the popular spice turmeric. Curcumin is both a potent anti-inflammatory agent and a powerful stimulator for neurogenesis.  Ajay Goel, PhD, is Director of Epigenetics and Cancer Prevention at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He shares the clinical trial results, if you should be adding turmeric to your recipes, what supplement works best and if there are any side effects.