Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent mental health issue affecting millions of people worldwide. In 2017, the World Health Organization announced that depression was the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, with at least 300 million people living with depression at the time. The search for effective treatments has led researchers to explore the potential benefits of curcumin, a natural compound found in turmeric. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties may play a significant role in alleviating depression symptoms. In this episode of the Real Health Show, Dr Paulo discusses how curcumin can be used for depression.
The Role of Inflammation in Depression
Chronic inflammation has been implicated in the development and maintenance of depression. When exposed to chronic stress, microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS), become activated, leading to an overexpression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the activation of inflammasomes. These factors contribute to persistent neuroinflammation, which has been linked to depressive symptoms.
Curcumin’s Effect on Inflammation and Neurotransmitters
Curcumin has shown promise in reducing inflammation, as demonstrated in human clinical trials. By decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines in the pre-frontal cortex, curcumin can help counter the inflammatory processes associated with depression.
Additionally, curcumin can impact neurotransmitter release, specifically glutamate. Glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, is crucial for synaptic plasticity and neuroplasticity. However, excessive glutamate release can lead to excitotoxicity and synaptic loss, which are associated with depression. Curcumin has been shown to inhibit glutamate release and prevent glutamate-induced cell apoptosis, potentially providing neuroprotective benefits.
Addressing HPA Axis Dysregulation and Insulin Resistance
Curcumin’s therapeutic effects may extend beyond its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. It can also address dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a stress response system often implicated in depression. Curcumin can help restore normal cortisol levels and normalize adrenal gland size, improving stress response and depressive symptoms.
Insulin resistance is another factor contributing to depression. It can lead to impaired neuroplasticity and disturbances in neurotransmitter release and uptake. Curcumin has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, thereby decreasing depressive-like symptoms.
Dr Paulo discussed in the episode that Bio-Curcumin with BCM95 may be an effective product for depression due to its ability to its anti-inflammatory properties and bioavailability. This is a patented 95% extract which mixes curcumin with Ar-Turmerone (one of the oils in the plant). There have been over 80 clinical trials which has shown this curcumin to be 7 times more bioavailable than normal 95% extract. Additionally, this product is also active for 8 hours based on research which indicates that it is an excellent source of curcumin.
Bio-Curcumin with BCM95 is an excellent source of curcumin with the dosage making it a very safe option for many people. It must be noted that the pregnant women, those on blood thinning medication and those who may have gallstones should take caution before supplementing with curcumin. Its effectiveness and safety make it a highly recommended product for those seeking a natural supplementation in addition to traditional antidepressant medications.
Curcumin is a promising natural compound for treating depression due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. By targeting inflammation, neurotransmitter release, and other factors such as HPA axis dysregulation and insulin resistance, curcumin has the potential to alleviate depressive symptoms and improve mental health.
While more research is needed to fully understand curcumin’s benefits and optimal dosing, incorporating it into depression treatment strategies may lead to more effective, holistic approaches to mental health care. Bio-Curcumin BCM95 may provide a solution for those suffering with depression symptoms and are seeking additional supplementation with their depression treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment or supplement, including curcumin. As researchers continue to explore curcumin’s potential benefits in depression, we can hope for more effective, natural treatment options for those suffering from this debilitating disorder.
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Phytoceutics™ are the headline sponsor for the Real Health Show on the Home Channel on DSTV. The Real Health Show is a lifestyle show featuring holistic health solutions presented in an easy-to-absorb and palatable manner. The show explores how these solutions, when practised correctly, lead to a physically, emotionally and mentally healthier body, mind and soul. Season 16 is presented by Michael Porter, a wellness enthusiast, and is supported by well renowned Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros. In each episode they focus on a key concern and then tie it back to a product of that can provide a valuable solution.