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Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study
Journal of Affective Disorders, 07/17/14
Lopresti AL, et al. – Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid derived from the spice turmeric, influences several biological mechanisms associated with major depression, namely those associated with monoaminergic activity, immune–inflammatory and oxidative & nitrosative stress pathways, hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activity and neuroprogression. Partial support is provided for the antidepressant effects of curcumin in people with major depressive disorder, evidenced by benefits occurring 4 to 8 weeks after treatment.
  • In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 56 individuals with major depressive disorder were treated with curcumin (500 mg twice daily) or placebo for 8 weeks.
  • The primary measure was the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-rated version (IDS-SR30).
  • Secondary outcomes included IDS-SR30 factor scores and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

  • From baseline to week 4, both curcumin and placebo were associated with improvements in IDS-SR30 total score and most secondary outcome measures.
  • From weeks 4 to 8, curcumin was significantly more effective than placebo in improving several mood-related symptoms, demonstrated by a significant group x time interaction for IDS-SR30 total score (F1,53=4.22, p=.045) and IDS-SR30 mood score (F1,53=6.51, p=.014), and a non-significant trend for STAI trait score (F1,48=2.86, p=.097).
  • Greater efficacy from curcumin treatment was identified in a subgroup of individuals with atypical depression.

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