13 JAN 2012
In a recently published study, a highly absorbable form of curcumin called BCM-95 was compared to fluoxetine (one brand name is Prozac®) and imipramine (one brand name is Tofranil®) in an animal scientific model of depression and found to be as effective in alleviating depression as either prescription drug. The study [Evaluation of Antidepressant-Like Activity of Curcumin and its Combination with Fluoxetine and Imipramine: an Acute and Chronic Study. Sanmukhani J, Anovadiya A, Tripathi CB. Published in: Acta Pol Pharm.2011 Sep-Oct; 68(5):769-75] also found no significant adverse safety issues with BCM-95 curcumin use. The study authors theorize that“antidepressant like activity could be due to an increase in serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain.” BCM-95 curcumin is an extract of the spice turmeric, but only 2 to 5 percent of turmeric is curcumin. BCM-95 curcumin has been shown in published human studies to have up to 10 times the absorption of standard curcumin. [ Antony B, Merina B, Iyer VS, et al. A Pilot Cross-Over Study to Evaluate Human Oral Bioavailability of BCM-95CG (Biocurcumax), A Novel Bioenhanced Preparation of Curcumin. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008;70(4):445-449]
Dr. Benny Antony, lead author of the absorption trial, commented on the new study, “It does not matter how much you take—it matters how much you absorb. BCM-95 curcumin is not only significantly better absorbed than standard curcumin; the curcuminoids are absorbed in the ratio in which they occur in nature. I personally feel this plays a role in BCM-95’s effectiveness, and I am glad to see more studies illuminating the health benefits of this extraordinary herb.”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated one in ten adults report depression, which translates to over 30 million individuals in the United States alone. Experts estimate that 20 to 45 percent of antidepressant users fail to respond to treatment and between 5 and 20 percent of patients (depending on type of drug) stop using these medications due to severe adverse effects.