It is the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin that underlies a variety of other health benefits beyond its antidepressant effect. A study published in 2013 showed remarkable results in depressed individuals who used a special curcumin complex called BCM-95 (r) – with bioavailability seven times higher than standard curcumin.
Curcumin fights depression by promoting neurogenesis, increasing the concentration of important neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine, and inhibiting inflammation in the brain. This suggest that the inhibitory effect of curcumin is excitotoxicity, which is one of the mechanisms underlying the compound. Studies have shown that turmeric, a bioactive compound in turmeric, can treat depression, anxiety, aging brain and more.
Curcumin supplements can help to boost your mood, control stress and anxiety and protect your brain against aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Curcumin is responsible for the spice turmeric brilliant golden color and most of its impressive health benefits. It can be taken to combat pain and arthritis by reducing inflammation.
Like many other dietary supplements, curcumin can be combined with antidepressants to improve its effectiveness. Curcumin is also often mixed with other natural remedies for depression such as St. John’s Wort and Sam E. If you suffer from depression or a serious depressive disorder, taking curcumin supplements can be a safe alternative to prescription drugs.
Research has shown that curcumin can enhance the effect of popular antidepressants. Increasing the feel-good neurotransmitters Serotonin and Dopamine can decrease depression, increase mood and increase alertness, cognition, decision-making, memory and libido. An underrecognized effect of serotonin on the brain’s ability to learn could explain why elevated serotonin levels in SSRIs may help depression patients.
A large study of 73,131 people found that C-reactive protein levels, a marker of systemic inflammation, are associated with depression and psychological stress. Curcumin has also been shown to reduce C-reactive protein as well as the formation of plaques typical of Alzheimer’s.
The proof that curcumin is able to influence the content of monoamines in the central nervous system has been demonstrated in animal experiments over the last two decades. Curcumin has many other potential health benefits being studied, including fight against many cancers, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, skin diseases and improved liver function, to name a few.
Although curcumin looks promising, it is important to consult a doctor before changing your treatment plan. Standard of care is prescription medications loaded with side effects2-7. In many patients, the effectiveness of prescription medications decreases over the course of treatment8. This forces depressed people to live with their mood disorders. Given the evidence that turmeric can help alleviate symptoms of stress and depression, it should come as no surprise that it is also able to alleviate symptoms of anxiety as well.
One study showed that 1 gram of curcumin has a similar effect to Prozac for improving mood and reducing anxiety, so it’s definitely worth exploring if you’re looking for a natural anxiety medication. While a reduction in serotonin and dopamine levels can lead to mood deterioration and an increased risk of anxiety and depression, curcumin is associated with an increase in serotonin and serotonin/dopamine levels in the brain. If you want to improve your mental out look with no side effects, give curcumin a try!
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