Curcumin, an ingredient of turmeric, is widely available as a nutritional supplement. Curcumin has biological properties that suggest its use for a large number of health-related conditions, including depression. Curcumin is effective in animal models of depression. However, controlled clinical trials provide no convincing evidence that patients with major depressive illness fare better with different extracts of curcumin (dosed at 500-1,000 mg/d) than with placebo (or no treatment) after 5-8 weeks of monotherapy or antidepressant-augmentation therapy. At present, therefore, there is insufficient evidence to encourage depressed patients to consider curcumin as a possible alternative to standard antidepressant therapy.
J Clin Psychiatry 2014;75(10):e1110-e1112 (doi:10.4088/JCP.14f09489).
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