Skip to comments.Branded Curcumin Matches Effects of Prozac on Depression
Posted on 07/28/2013 11:19:21 AM PDT by neverdem
Chester, NJ—A recent clinical trial published in Phytotherapy Research indicated that a high-absorption curcumin (BCM-95 from Dolcas Biotech, based here) had similar effects as a generic form of Prozac (fluoxetine) on depression, sans the adverse effects.
“It is a novel and surprising application for this natural medicine,” said Ajay Goel, Ph.D., Baylor Research Institute and Charles A Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor University Medical Center and study co-author. “People with depression have higher levels of inflammation in the brain. Also, people with depression have lower levels of neurogenesis in the brain, meaning they make fewer new brain cells than people with no history of depression. Curcumin is both a potent anti-inflammatory agent and a powerful stimulator for neurogenesis.”
The three-pronged study included 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder, with 20 people taking either BCM-95 Curcumin (500 mg capsules twice daily); 20 people taking fluoxetine 20 mg daily; or 20 people taking a combination of BCM-95 Curcumin twice daily with fluoxetine once daily. Their level of depression was assessed using the clinically validated Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17), which is used to evaluate one’s mood, feelings of guilt, feelings of suicide and other symptoms.
After six weeks, the research showed that curcumin was well tolerated by all of the subjects. The proportion of responders with improved depression symptoms was higher in the combination group (77.8%) than in the fluoxetine (64.7%) and the curcumin (62.5%) groups. However, the data also showed that BCM-95 Curcumin worked as well as fluoxetine in terms of changes in the HAM-D17 score from baseline through six weeks of treatment.
The study was the first human clinical indication that Curcumin can be used as an effective and safe treatment for patients with depression, though it cannot be considered a medical treatment at this time.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2013 (online 7/24/13)
Hat tip yefragetuwrabrumuy!
Excellent. Believe me, curcumin is good for a million other things too. Everyone should cook with turmeric, and supplementing with capsules would not hurt.
The word on the street is that Curcumin is going to double in price.
Yeah, sure. Some hippie organic food magazine makes another claim. Remember St. John’s Wort? People who don’t know what real depression is should keep their traps shut.
I’m a big believer in tumeric and curcumin. I’m also hearing good things about anatabine (sold as anatabloc). Any thoughts on the latter anybody?
It’s an interesting medical condition.
The doctors don’t completely know what causes it — and aren’t quite sure how the medications work.
An unknown cause being treated with guesswork medications.
TAKE TURMERIC CAPSULES!!
you will know you are taking enough when you start to have a craving for ordinary table pepper (instead of salt)
It makes you feel great, and I stopped needing reading glasses
There appears to be a peculiar connection somehow, between liver function, mood disorders and cancer. Curcuminoids aid liver function, are beneficial with certain forms of cancer, and are helpful with depression. It’s a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. It also benefits individuals with Alzheimers. Very high dosages have to be administered for therapeutic effect however, and bioavailability is not good at all via the digestive tract.
SAM-e also is helpful with liver function and mood disorders. Bioavailability is not such an issue. It’s even prescribed for liver support over the course of treatments that can pose difficulties with liver function, such as chemotherapy.
What does this mean? No idea. Could be sheer coincidence. Interesting possibilities spring to mind though.
This isn't a claim being made by "some hippie organic food magazine." The work behind this article was done by researchers at the Baylor Research Institute of Baylor University Medical School, which is not some fly-by-night outfit. The paper originally appeared in a peer-reviewed scholarly medical journal and the study patients had been diagnosed already with MDD. So, um, yeah, this could be worth paying attention to, as a supplement to prescription anti-depressants if nothing else. Can't hurt.
I’ve tried St. John’s Wort. It was superficially helpful, energy levels improved. But over time it began to feel sort of “speedy,” and I experienced anxiety attacks for the first and only time in my life. Also got an odd metallic taste in my mouth.
Turmeric capsules led to a sort of warm pleasant feeling of well-being, fairly immediately. There can be digestive upset from high dosage. Very high dosage can lead to yellowing. I use a fair amount of curry in my food now, so I stopped supplementing. You can feel it in sore joints, they warm up and ache less.
SAM-e was very good. Over a period of weeks I just felt better, very subtle, more energy but not jittery or speedy. It’s a little pricey though. No problems from stopping use of it once I felt better. I’d take it again if the need appeared to be there.
How much do you take a day?
See ottbmare’s comment regarding the particular matter at hand.
However, I’d not be so dismissive about things coming out of Whole Foods: the company has well-heeled superannuated hippies as a target market, but it’s a very well run corporation and its CEO actually proposed real market-based reforms to the health care system that Congress could have adopted and actually made thing better instead of worse by going the statist route with Obamacare. Corporate reputation being hard won, I don’t think they’ll hawk anything unsound in their house publications.
(They’re overpriced, but there are things I buy there when I get to a Whole Foods because you can’t get them at any of our local groceries — e.g. Campo del Montelban cheese, Bulgarian yogurt — along with sale items on which the price
is reasonable, since their product quality is very good.)
Great excuse to make curry a part of my regular diet.
I read an interesting study from a mainstream medical source showing it help slow oral cancer, was being tested on patients leading up to surgery for that.
It’s very difficult to get sufficient dosage into the bloodstream for therapeutic benefit. Transdermal patches have ben tried, very messy, pronounced yellowing. Sublingual liquid might be helpful being that it was oral cancer. State of the art appears to be liposomal curcuminoids but not certain if even that surmounts the problem of bioavailability.
Dried St. John’s Wort is weaker than a fresh plant tincture. But no one responsibly recommends it for serious depressive states. Like the majority of herbal remedies it works best on sub-pathological conditions.
I was self-medicating with what I could find, I was without medical coverage and my business was failing, no income, living off of savings. Prayer was the ultimate resolution of my depression. SAM-e was very helpful. Turmeric had some minor, temporary benefit. St. John’s Wort was like a drug, unpleasant with continued useage. It was dried in gelcaps.
St. Johns Wort can cause light sensitivity in high doses as well. If it doesn’t provide a benefit at the recommended dose it should just be abandoned not increased. Again, dried St. Johns Wort herb is not the best. My BiL swears by it. I showed him how to tincture his own about 20 yrs ago.
Baylor University study, author is director of epigenetics. Not exactly fruits and nuts.
Whole Foods Magazine? Give me The Journal of the American Medical Association or The New England Journal of Medicine for medical advice any day.
Is one better than the other?
I take Organic India turmeric, about half the “recommended” dose. It has a very noticeable positive effect on my mental processes. Don’t have depression, so cannot comment on that.
Historically, extremely low doses of meds work for me. Higher doses are dangerous.
It not only works, but one doesn't risk becoming addicted to other pain-blocking narcotics.
It is said to help clear arteries .
As I recall, the patient put curcumin in their mouths, but I can’t remember if the article stated exactly the method. But my impression that it was topically applied to the tissue in the mouth.
Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Make little girls talk out of their head....I guess there is no depression in India.
the more exotic the placebo the better... i think there is a faith effect here
well, talking about depression is like talking about fevers. it’s a catch all for what is probably many different things leading to the same distressing symptom.
This requires some pause for reflection.
Please no one talk about regulating curcumin. The FDA is a bureaucratic hell hole. Businesses have shown time and time again that they can regulate themselves.
Please don't prevent those people who label rat poison as curcumin from giving their sons and daughters the Ferraris they crave.
Or at least a drink. Or both.
This sure sounds like a keyhole-viewed, cynical understanding of both medicine and spirituality.
Depression does have a powerful spiritual side. It is a type of self focused hatred. It also is found in many cases to be susceptible to influence (to the worse or to the better) through physical and chemical means.
Talking about depressions as though they were all one illness is like talking about fevers as though they were all one illness.
Yes I plug for a specific faith asserting it identifies a true God. I also know a lot of spiritual rackets or cults make claims about this same God which are palpably false.
How about cutting out the cutesy hints and evasive barbs and actually stating what you believe is the salient wrong. You add about zero information here.
I didn't say that all depressions were the same. I made a statement that various mental conditions were viewed for centuries as sinful failures of character or demonic possession.
Do you disagree with that statement?
Do you believe that everyone is capable of overcoming their mental disorders? Even epileptics?
Do you believe that only sinners are the ones that fail to overcome their mental problems and deserve their fate?
Do you believe that everything is right with a world that includes many people that seem unable to deal with their mental conditions?
Certainly people are over-medicating themselves. Certainly there is the possibility that some mental conditions are the result of toxins in the environment, prenatal poisoning from mothers who smoked/drank/took drugs, etc.
But there seem to be many cases where otherwise good and normal people behave in horrible ways until they start taking the appropriate medication.
What do you make of all this? Do you just sing "Onward Christian Soldier" in a louder voice?
1) God created a physical universe.
2) God created Adam with free will and put all things physical under his authority.
3) Adam abdicated that authority to Satan and Satan corrupted everything.
Q.E.D. You can’t blame the existence of cancer, tornadoes, bot flies, and entropy on God unless you’re thereby affirming a preference for having been created without a will of your own.
I could write all night.
Demonic possession, when it was thought to have happened, was not considered a fault of the, ah, possessee — unless s/he had called on the demon.
For around 500 years the normal Catholic official wisdom about possession was that one should only conclude that when medical reasons had been ruled out. The failures were in the undeveloped natural philosophies. The theoretical/theological side was pretty much in order.
However, it IS true that there remain some superstitious jerks among Christians.
I would not say that ALL “defects of will” can be medicated away. For example, you're the second person I've encountered today who has based some negative opinions about the Church on ignorance of what the Church officially teaches and prescribes. I don't think there is yet a medicine to address basing judgments on what amounts to poorly substantiated or unsubstantiated rumor.
I WILL say this about the generosity and compassion of the modern scientists dubious about theism generally and Christians specifically:
When my kid was 15 months old, I was told she would die a slow and lingering death as a destructive epilepsy trashed her brain. (At least some of the scientists were wrong on that one. She turns 30 this November.)
At the time I was an Episcopal priest. (I am now a Catholic lay-D00d.) We had recourse to the local pediatric neurology gods, among whom was a certain Dr. Dreyfus. The usual routine was that he would schedule an appointment right slap in the middle of nap time. Then he would be 45 minutes late. Then, when my kid cried as he examined her, he would call her “spoiled.”
So,one day I showed up with my kid, and I had come from “work” so I was wearing my “clericals” (black suit and shirt, backwards collar.) This meant that I got to listen to how Christians in the middle ages thought epilepsy was demonic and were just SEW superstitious and all.
While my kid was, according to him, dying.
I'm sure there is some good, scientific, anti-church explanation about why, when a father's only child is dying it is good to call him a jerk.
Yeah, those journals, bought and paid for by Big Pharma, are really helpful....if all you do for your health is continue courses of Big Pharma drugs! You know, the kind with the list of side effects 3-4 pages long?
Hey, the Luke who wrote the gospel and Acts was also a physician and did not stop being one when he became a believer in Jesus. Folks who say doctors have no place in Christian ministry are just being silly.
Well, how about looking at my own freep page. I don’t think you will read that as just a louder version of “Onward Christian Soldiers” (as helpful as that hymn can be in the appropriate circumstance, it is not a comprehensive gospel message).
More or less... there are some disputes over details but that’s the general thrust of the fall of the creation. The old earth and young earth creation theological camps probably won’t see eye to eye anytime sooner than the return of the Lord, but both perceive a metaphysical shift, rooted in a spiritual shift, that came with men accepting the sin of the rebellious angels. And one important point to note, as in the case of the man born blind that Jesus healed, is that not all suffering is due to one’s own personal sins. It is part of being in a battle zone.
Hopefully others have presented better answers than I have furnished. But I think to sum up, yep we are in a spiritual war zone. God folds suffering into His plan in an omniscient, omnipotent manner to, among other things, show people the need of returning to God even while refraining from forcing their will. Really, to some people God could never do anything to satisfy them. If God forced their wills then they’d call God a manipulative tyrant. If God refrains then they’d accuse God of being vague and difficult. Now if you take this as an accusation to sufferers that they have somehow earned their suffering through sinning, you have warped my message. Because mercy is also folded into His plan.
Well Dawg, you got to see what happens when scientific pursuit worships itself and forgets the roots it once had in the pursuit of the divine. We can have valid arguments over “HOW” God did something, but not over “WHETHER” God did something, unless we want to try to wrench ourselves artificially out of the hands of God.
ah, ignore the heckling trolls who have nothing but negative comments and nothing constructive to offer.
They’re trying to trap your mind in a cage of surmises, without being challenged on their surmises. It is so easy to damn the good because it isn’t perfect and that’s an infantile, sinful game. It’s not as easy to figure out how to make the good better.
Frankly I don't care if it's "just a placebo" I want the pain to go away.
Oh, that’s a massive huge 10-4 with whipped cream AND sprinkles!
Scientism is clearly a false religion as can be shown by the inductive process. In particular it weakens the mind. The unawareness that what a thing IS might be importantly different from what it is MADE OF, or that how a thing comes to be might be different from why or to what purpose it came to be ... this kind of unawareness is just sloppy. But it’s a sloppiness Scientism fosters.
The problem is that curcumin is not well absorbed.The only way I know of to enhance this is piperine, which is why I eat pepper before taking it.