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J Affect Disord. 2014;167:368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study.

Author information

1
School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia 6150, Australia. Electronic address: a.lopresti@murdoch.edu.au.
2
Impact Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia; Department of Psychiatry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
3
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia 6150, Australia.
4
School of Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia 6009, Australia.
5
School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia 6150, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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 and nitrosative stress pathways, hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and neuroprogression. We hypothesised that curcumin would be effective for the treatment of depressive symptoms in individuals with major depressive disorder.

METHODS:

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).

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

LIMITATIONS:

Investigations with larger sample sizes, over extended treatment periods, and with varying curcumin dosages are required.

KEYWORDS:

Antidepressant; Clinical trial; Curcumin; Depression; Turmeric

PMID:
25046624
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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