New Evidence Psilocybin, the Active Ingredient in Magic Mushrooms, Helps Ease Depression

In a new study, psilocybin worked better than placebo, vitamin B and other psychedelic compounds in improving symptoms of depression.

More evidence suggests that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, may be a promising treatment for depression. In a new study, researchers found the psychedelic compound worked better than controls such as placebos, Vitamin B, and other psychedelics.

The researchers analyzed data from seven trials, including 436 participants with depression, and found those who used psilocybin experienced much greater symptom improvement than those given the other products. The researchers call these findings encouraging but say issues such as cost and a lack of regulatory and legal guidelines remain.

The authors of an accompanying editorial agree that psilocybin is promising but note that questions remain about how it works under real-world conditions and whether it's best used alone or in conjunction with psychotherapy. They emphasize that more and better evidence is needed before any clinical recommendation can be made about the therapeutic use of psilocybin.

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