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HomeHealth & FitnessCurcumin and Depression: What You Should Know

Curcumin and Depression: What You Should Know

You might have heard about turmeric as a spice and antioxidant. But few people are familiar with curcumin. It is actually the bioactive element present in turmeric with excellent anti-inflammatory properties. This substance is what gives turmeric its golden yellow colour. 


Curcumin does not have an effective bioavailability, which means it needs to be extracted and stimulated before it can be absorbed in the body. However, curcumin is only present in certain spices like ginger and turmeric. There is no other way to source this substance anywhere else. 


Fortunately, it is available as a supplement, and you can order curcumin online and wait for the product to be shipped to your location. It certainly makes it more convenient rather than putting turmeric on all your food to obtain the recommended daily intake. 


Depression Facts


According to the Mental Health Council of Australia, anxiety and depression are the most common disorders that are experienced by Australians. About one million adults live with depression every year. The data revealed that 1 in 5 Australians becomes depressed at least once in their lives. Females are more prone to depression than males. In terms of demographic, those belonging to the age group 12-25 years are more susceptible to this mental illness.


Although depression does not necessarily push a person into committing suicide, the mental illness significantly increases the risks. A study by the Australian Rural Mental Health tried to find a link between depression and suicide patterns. Of the more than 1,000 participants, 364 were dealing with lifetime depression. And out of that total, nearly 5 in 10 have contemplated killing themselves while 16% actually attempted.  The risks further increase when you add alcohol and drugs into the mix. 


Curcumin and Depression


An eight-week double-blind study on 56 individuals with major depressive disorder showed the positive effects of curcumin to treat this mental disorder. The patients were split into two, with one group given a placebo and the other with curcumin supplements. The participants were evenly distributed according to genders. 


During the first four weeks, the results were the same. Both groups have shown improvements. However, it was during the second phase of the trial (from four to eight weeks) where the curcumin group made huge strides. Researchers concluded that curcumin could be a safe way to improve the condition of patients with major depressive disorder due to its antioxidant properties.


The findings are consistent with another study, which concluded that the body’s immune system might contribute to mental disorders. For instance, people with depression are found to have higher oxidative stress and inflammation in their systems. The high levels of inflammation produce cytokines, which then find their way into the brain and affect dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin, the neurotransmitters linked to the onset of depression. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidation properties of curcumin will help address this.


Curcumin Dosage


You can order curcumin online easily, but what is the daily dosage to effectively curb depression? An intake of between 500 milligrams and 1,000 milligrams daily has been found to produce positive effects on patients with depression who participated in double-blind studies.


Of course, while the positive effects of curcumin are well-documented, it is not meant to be a substitute for therapy and medication, particularly on patients with severe symptoms.

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