A study published in the journal “Phytotherapy Research” has confirmed for the first time in a randomized, controlled clinical setting that curcumin (the primary polyphenol in turmeric) is both safe and effective in treating serious states of depression (Sanmukhani et al., 2013).
The research was performed at the Department of Pharmacology within the Government Medical College in India and involved patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). The objective was to compare the efficacy and safety of curcumin (found in turmeric) with fluoxetine (Prozac) in 60 patients with MDD. Subjects were randomized to receive either a six week treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) individually OR their combination.
Success of the treatment was evaluated using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17).
The mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups – meaning the curcumin alone was just as effective as Prozac. This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.
Even though from the results it seems curcumin and Prozac were equivalent in effectiveness, the fact that curcumin comes “WITHOUT concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders” clearly proves its superiority over Prozac. Prozac is known to cause a host of dangerous side effects, including suicide.
Check out Pinterest for turmeric-rich recipes and make sure to include this neuroprotective spice in your diet this fall!
Also check out this Youtube video for more in depth information on treating disease with curcumin.