Objective: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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).
Conclusion: Curcumin has a potential anti-anxiety effect in individuals with obesity.