Turmeric and Depression: The Neuroprotective Effects of Curcumin

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In an animal model of depression, researchers explored possible antidepressant mechanisms of the polyphenolic compound, curcumin, in the traditional spice, turmeric.

  • After identifying stress-induced brain changes including decreases in brain-derived growth factor (BDNF) in the lateral amygdala, this study found that curcumin had the potential to mitigate these effects, when preventatively administered for a 6 week period.
  • The neurophysiologic findings correlated with absence of depressive symptoms in these stressed rodents. These findings support the growing body of literature around the neuroprotective effects of curcumin.

Consider adding culinary doses to foods cooked with oil (ghee, olive, red palm, coconut) and pepper to enhance absorption.

Read the study to learn about curcumin, turmeric and depression.

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About Dr. Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your OwnOwn Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Learn More