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An investigation of the effects of curcumin on anxiety and depression in obese individuals: A randomized controlled trial



To investigate the effectiveness of curcumin, a natural polyphenolic compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, on the frequency of symptoms of anxiety and depression in obese individuals.


In this double blind, cross-over trial, 30 obese subjects were randomized to receive either curcumin (1 g/day) or placebo for a period of 30 days. Following a wash-out interval of 2 weeks, each subject was crossed over to the alternative regimen for a further 30 days. Severity of anxiety and depression was assessed at baseline and at weeks 4, 6 and 10 of the trial using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scales, respectively.


Mean BAI score was found to be significantly reduced following curcumin therapy (P=0.03). However, curcumin supplementation did not exert any significant impact on BDI scores (P=0.7).


Curcumin has a potential anti-anxiety effect in individuals with obesity.

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Correspondence to Majid Ghayour-Mobarhan.

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Support by the Research Council at the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

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Esmaily, H., Sahebkar, A., Iranshahi, M. et al. An investigation of the effects of curcumin on anxiety and depression in obese individuals: A randomized controlled trial. Chin. J. Integr. Med. 21, 332–338 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11655-015-2160-z

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  • Curcuma longa
  • curcumin
  • phenolic
  • psychological disorders
  • Beck Anxiety Inventory scale
  • Beck Depression Inventory scale