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    Dr. Paddo - Wednesday 30 July 2022

    What are the effects of turmeric in depression?

    Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in Dutch society. Especially after a long period of lockdowns and the resulting feelings of loneliness, depressive complaints, both among young and old, have increased significantly. Many people are looking for natural remedies to treat these complaints. Turmeric is an interesting supplement in that regard. The active ingredients in turmeric appear to reduce the symptoms of depression.


    When does depression occur?

    Gloom, listlessness, feeling lonely, a lack of motivation, everyone has periods when things don't go so well. You can say that you are depressed, but that word is used rather quickly. You are only really depressed if there is mental suffering and that you suffer from it every day and when this lasts longer than 2 weeks.


    When you are depressed, you can no longer enjoy what you are doing. You are gloomy, feel restless or easily irritated, or just very lethargic. You may suffer from insomnia and lack of energy. But it could also be that you just want to sleep all day. Life is hard, you may even have thoughts about death or suicide. Depression is a serious condition that affects all facets of your life. Fortunately, this can be treated.


    Psychotherapy is often recommended, and antidepressants such as citalopram or fluoxetine may also be prescribed. These can help you feel better by preventing the breakdown of serotonin (a neurotransmitter). This increases the serotonin level in the brain and has a positive effect on your mood. However, these types of drugs come with a lot of side effects, and they are also addictive. The use of a natural remedy such as turmeric for depression can therefore have many benefits.

    The active substances in turmeric

    Turmeric, the well-known yellow spice, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It was used for fever, infections, inflammation and digestive complaints. The western world is also discovering the benefits of turmeric, and many studies are being set up to find out what turmeric can be used for.


    The active ingredients in this yellow spice are curcuminoids. The most important of these is curcumin. All curcuminoids are antioxidants, but curcumin has the most powerful effect. Thus, as soon as it enters a cell, this substance could, as it were, call it to order. A cell that functions poorly (such as a cancer cell) can be calmed down by curcumin, after which it can transmit signals again and start to behave normally. Research  shows that turmeric can inhibit the progression of the disease in leukemia, for example. Furthermore, curcumin is said to be good for memory and healthy cholesterol levels. The question remains, of course, whether turmeric also has benefits for depression.


    Turmeric for depression: what research shows

    Some studies have already been done, which show that turmeric could help with depression. This may be because curcumin inhibits a certain enzyme(monoamine oxidase, MAO) while simultaneously inhibiting the activity of certain promotes other substances, such as dopamine and serotonin. These substances play a role in motivation, emotions and learning.


    In 2014, a study was conducted, involving 60 patients who suffered from depression. They were divided into three groups, with the first group receiving Prozac (regular antidepressants), the second group receiving 1 gram of turmeric and the third group receiving both drugs. After 6 weeks, it was found that the people given turmeric benefited just as much as those given Prozac. Taking both drugs together was found to have the greatest positive effect. The researchers conclude that turmeric is a safe and effective remedy to use in depression.

    Improve curcumin absorption

    A drug can only work properly if the body can properly absorb the active ingredients. This applies just as much to natural remedies as it does to regular medication. Research shows that the human body cannot absorb curcumin very well. This is because the substance cannot enter the blood through the intestinal wall undamaged. And the liver is also bothering, it will break down curcumin, making it ineffective. That's why it doesn't make much sense to put extra turmeric in your food. You would, in that case, for a good effectiveness, take 30 grams of turmeric.


    Research has been done into ways to improve the absorbability of curcumin. When the substance is combined with black pepper (peperine), this increases the absorbability by up to 2000%. The high-quality turmeric supplement from Together is highly recommended. The Curcumin & Turmeric Complex contains black pepper in addition to turmeric, so that the substances can be absorbed quickly and effectively by your body.


    If you suffer from depression, don't carry around with it. In case of complaints, it is best to contact your doctor or a therapist. Do you want to use turmeric for depression? It may help to relieve your symptoms. Ask your doctor first whether turmeric is a suitable supplement for you, especially if you are already taking medication. Piperine, which improves the absorption of turmeric, can also affect the way your body absorbs medicines.

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