Clinical Evidence

Investigation of the Efficacy of Adjunctive Therapy with Bioavailability-Boosted Curcuminoids in Major Depressive Disorder
Phytother Res. 2015; 29(1):17-21
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most common psychological disorder. The symptoms include irritable mood, disrupted sleep, loss of motivation, decreased concentrating power and even suicidal intentions. Currently available medication has limited efficacy and their long term use leads to several adverse events. Since MDD is a chronic and recurrent condition, these adverse events can result in treatment intolerance and low compliance of the patient.

Curcuminoids are widely studied, extremely safe and multifunctional phytopharmaceuticals that have been shown to alleviate depressive symptoms in a variety of experimental models.

To investigate the efficacy of a bioavailability-improved Curcuminoids formulation in the alleviation of symptoms of MDD patients on standard antidepressant treatment.

Study Design:

An open-label trial with 111 subjects for six week was planned. Subjects were assigned to standard antidepressive therapy plus Curcuminoids-Piperine combination (1000-10 mg/day, n=61) or standard antidepressive therapy alone (n=50). All subjects were examined by board certified psychiatrist at baseline and at the end of trial. Efficacy measures were changes in the psychological status on the basis of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II).

The parameters evaluated during the trial (i.e. at baseline and at the end of the study) included fasting glucose level and lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C and Triglycerides) along with liver and kidney function tests.

  • Comparison of pretrial versus post-trial HADS scores between Curcuminoids versus control group revealed greater reduction in both total and subscale HADS scores in the Curcuminoids group (P<0.001)
  • Similar pattern was observed in group comparison of BDI-II scores. The reduction in total BDI-II score (P<0.001), somatic (P<0.001) and cognitive (P<0.001) subscale scores were found to be greater in Curcuminoids group

This study suggests that Curcuminoids-Piperine combination is an effective addition to standard therapy for MDD and significantly improves the efficacy of treatment in alleviating depression symptoms. However, larger and blinded trials are warranted to confirm the present findings and if co-administration of Curcuminoids with Piperine is effective as monotherapy in patients with MDD.