Clinical Evidence

An investigation of the effects of Curcumin on anxiety and depression in obese individuals: A randomized controlled trial
Chin J Integr Med. 2015; 21(5):332-38
A study was published in 2006 on relationship between obesity and range of mood disorders and anxiety. In the US population, it was observed that obesity was associated with approximately 25% increase in odds of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Today we recognize the vicious circle of obesity which is more prevalent in patients suffering from anxiety and depression. Inflammation and oxidative stress are regarded as key factors in pathogenesis of neurotoxicity and inflammation. Disruption of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) is one of the distinct features of anxiety and depression. Thus, a battery of these factors—imbalance in HPA and heightened inflammation along with lifestyle alterations is thought to be responsible for obesity.

Inflammation and oxidative stress are regarded as key factors in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders. It has been known since long that Curcumin mitigates inflammation and oxidative stress by downregulating the activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipoxygenase and inducible NOS (iNOS) enzymes, lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) and inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP) and several forms of interleukins.

To investigate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory efficacy of Curcumin on the frequency of symptoms of anxiety and depression in obese individuals.

Study Design:

The subjects were administered either 1 g/day dosage of Curcumin C3 Complex® and 10 mg of BioPerine® in 2 equally divided dosages or matching placebo. After the completion of dose regimen of 30 days, patients were crossed over after 2 weeks of washout period. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scales were filled out for each participant at baseline and after 4, 6 and 10 weeks of trial initiation. 

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.

  • Results from the trial showed a significant reduction in the mean BAI score in the active group (Curcumin C3 Complex®-BioPerine®) subjects as compared to placebo group
  • The study results suggested that Curcuminoids supplementation for 4 weeks in obese subjects was able to show a significant anti-anxiety effect
  • Authors of the study explained that bioavailability issue of Curcuminoids supplementation was overcome by addition of BioPerine®, a bioavailability enhancer

Finally, it was concluded that Curcumin has a potential role as an antianxiety agent in patients with obesity.