Curcumin: The unexpected sleep and anxiety benefits of the turmeric supplement

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties but is also effective on anxiety, depression and insomnia

Curcumin, the bioactive compound of turmeric, boasts numerous potential benefits and among these there is a little known property: the ability to manage stress, anxiety and sleep disorders, beneficial effects also confirmed by science. 

We know turmeric as a spice and curcumin, its active ingredient, especially for its anti-inflammatory abilities. But the potential of this natural substance does not stop there.  

In fact, some research has shown that the curcumin, taken as a supplement, is able to improve anxiety and stress, as well as sleep-related problems.  

But how can curcumin help in the treatment of these ailments? Thanks to his effect on serotonin, a neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood, is responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness, and also helps sleep.

Some research has found that supplementing curcumin increases serotonin levels and consequently acts on stress which, as is now known, is a risk factor for the development of anxiety and mood disorders as well as insomnia. .

In a study conducted on an animal model, researchers tested the effectiveness of curcumin in promoting resilience to stress in mice, and actually administering this active ingredient produced a 4,5-fold increase in stress resilience in most of the animals. animals that also released less corticosterone (a stress hormone). Curcumin also prevented anxious behavior.

The effects of curcumin (1 g / day) or placebo were also tested on the frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms in 30 obese human subjects in a 30-day, double-blind, crossover study. The severity of anxiety and depression was assessed prior to starting the study and at weeks 4, 6, and 10 using the Beck Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory, scientifically validated assessment questionnaires. The results showed that anxiety levels were significantly reduced after curcumin therapy.

Similar results have also been seen in several other researches. 

As regards the effects on quality of life and rest, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to ascertain the effects of 1000 mg / day of curcumin on quality of life (QoL) in 58 patients of ages 20 to 70 with liver cirrhosis. Compared to baseline, overall QoL scores improved considerably after administration of curcumin. Additionally, curcumin helped significantly reduce daytime sleepiness and low sexual interest.

Another study was conducted to examine the effect of turmeric supplementation on quality of life (QoL) and haematological parameters in 60 breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Turmeric supplementation for 21 days resulted in a clinically relevant and statistically significant improvement in overall health symptom scores, including fatigue and insomnia.

Although curcumin is effective in controlling symptoms attributable to stress, anxiety, depression or sleep disorders, remember that it is good not to use supplements without first hearing the opinion of your doctor. In fact, even if made with natural active ingredients, these are not free from possible side effects or interactions with drugs that you are taking.

In this regard, read also:

  • Turmeric: Beware of interaction and side effects with these drugs

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