The antidepressant nutrient that works as well as Prozac

June 9, 2015
Volume 5    |   Issue 47

Back in February, I showed you research that suggested one root cause of depression is inflammation. If this is true, I said an anti-inflammatory formula could help treat depression. Since then, researchers have found that one of the nutrients I suggested can treat depression as well as Prozac — if not better.

Prozac is a brand name for the drug fluoxetine. In 2010, doctors wrote 24.6 million prescriptions for the drug, making fluoxetine the third most prescribed drug in the world. To discover that a nutrient is just as effective would throw the medical world for a loop. Plus, it would be a major discovery, as many antidepressants cause an array of side effects, including suicide, severe violence, and other psychotic disorders.

Once researchers found that inflammation could be the root cause of depression, they started looking at anti-inflammatories to treat it. It wasn't long before they turned their attention toward natural anti-inflammatories, such as curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric).

What happened next could change how doctors treat depression. This landmark study wanted to find out if curcumin could effectively treat depression. To do so, the researchers followed 60 patients with major depressive disorder. In this randomized study they gave the patients fluoxetine (20 mg) or curcumin (1,000 mg) or a combination of both.

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The researchers evaluated the patients primarily according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAM-D17). This is a multi-question survey that helps determine levels of depression. However, they also had a secondary measurement using the mean change in HAM-D17 score after six weeks. The researchers found that the combination group had the highest initial scores. The HAM-D17 scale in the combination group was 77.8%. The fluoxetine group scored 64.7% and the curcumin group scored 62.5%. The researchers said these data were not statistically significant.

However, they found that "the mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups. This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with major depressive disorder without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders."

In other words, the curcumin worked just as well as Prozac. But this was a short-term study. Drugs tend to work faster than nutrients. So it's quite possible that over a longer period of time, the curcumin would work even better than Prozac — without any side effects.

So if you're suffering from any level of depression, don't turn to drugs first. There are often better ways to treat depression. If the cause is inflammation, it's best to find the cause of the inflammation and address this cause. Part of this could be taking an anti-inflammatory formula such as Reduloxin. Reduloxin contains Meriva®, a proprietary blend of turmeric, that's highly absorbable and very effective in reducing inflammation.

Your insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.

Sanmukhani J1, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, Tripathi CB. "Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial." Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5025. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

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