Turmeric for Anxiety, Stress, Depression


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Curcumin functions as an Anxiolytic (Anti-Anxiety)

A study was conducted on 56 patients suffering from major depressive disorder. They were put on  Curcumin supplementation for 8 weeks.

 It was observed that there was a marked reduction in the overall symptoms of depression and that the supplement was showing anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.

In fact, those suffering from atypical/common depression showed better results from curcumin treatment. The anxiolytic effects of curcumin can be attributed to its potential to normalize certain physiological pathways.

Summary: Curcumin supplements can reduce depression effectively owing to their anxiolytic property.

Curcumin has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Medical literature is filled with studies that show a link between chronic inflammation and depression. This means that lowering inflammation can treat depression.

Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties, which in turn, can prove beneficial in treating depression.

It was observed that individuals who were given 1000mg of curcumin for a period of 6 weeks showed a decrease in levels of inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-1β and TNF-𝝰.

These people also showed an increase in the levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) due to the curcumin supplementation. BDNF is essential for learning, memory, and focus. Often one experiences a lack of focus while suffering from depression.

Summary: As chronic inflammation and depression are linked with each other curcumin works in relieving depression by its anti-inflammatory effects.

Curcumin Increases Serotonin Levels

Patients with depression have shown high levels of the enzyme monoamine oxidase. Curcumin has an inhibitory effect on monoamine oxidase.

Turmeric is known to stimulate the release of dopamine and serotonin, the two hormones known to set one in a good mood.

In a trial, a 2 week-long treatment with turmeric was done on mice suffering from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). The mice showed a reversal in serotonin dysfunction which suggested that turmeric would be beneficial in managing psychiatric problems.

A similar study was done on mice to understand the antidepressant mechanism of curcumin when used along with other antidepressant drugs . It was seen that curcumin and piperine  (pepper) not only improved the anti-immobility effect of antidepressant drugs but also synergistically increased the serotonin (5-HT) levels.

Summary: Curcumin has shown to increase the levels of 'feel good' hormones like serotonin thereby, is helpful in treating psychiatric issues.

Curcumin Enhances DHA Synthesis

DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is a type of omega 3 fatty acid and is an essential for brain health. It has an important role in the normal function and development of the brain as well as neuroprotection.

Anxiety has been quite commonly observed in those deficient in DHA. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a precursor of DHA which means it is essential in the formation of DHA.

Turmeric has shown to improve DHA synthesis from ALA and increase the levels of enzymes that synthesize DHA, thereby, causing an increase in DHA levels in the brain.

Summary: DHA is vital to keep our brain healthy and curcumin has proved to increase DHA levels. Hence, curcumin has shown to be beneficial in maintaining normal brain function.

Curcumin Enhances the Production of Glutathione

Curcumin has shown to improve glutathione synthesis. Glutathione is an important free radical scavenger of the brain that reduces oxidative stress and is essential for keeping the brain healthy.

Several animal studies were conducted to investigate the antioxidant activity of curcumin and it was observed that curcumin helped in the free radical scavenging activity by increasing the levels of glutathione through increased rate of glutathione synthesis.

Curcumin has shown to assist in healing the damage caused by heavy metal toxins.

Summary: Curcumin reduces the levels of free radicals in the brain by inducing increased glutathione production.

Don’t Forget to Add Black Pepper

One of the major problems with curcumin or turmeric supplementation is their poor bioavailability. There are certain ingredients that enhance the absorption of turmeric. Of these, black pepper and dietary fat are quick and easy to add to your food along with the turmeric.

Adding black pepper: Black pepper contains an important compound called piperine. Studies have suggested that piperine can improve the absorption of several compounds.

Piperine is added to our supplements for enhanced absorption, increased efficiency, and quicker results. A study conducted in 2013, revealed that curcumin supplements when combined with piperine were more effective in treating depression than curcumin alone.

Adding dietary fat: Curcumin is a fat-soluble compound. Hence combining turmeric with a source of dietary fat such as oil, butter, nuts, avocado, etc helps improve its absorption into our system so that we can effectively reap its multiple health benefits.

Summary: You can add turmeric powder (3xR Curcumin Super Blend Powder) to your daily cooking to incorporate it into your diet. Add some healthy fat for enhancing the absorption of curcumin.