Adjunctive therapy with curcumin was found to provide a greater clinical benefit than placebo in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) being treated with mesalamine, according to the findings of a recently published systematic review and meta-analysis. 

To investigate the potential antiinflammatory properties of curcumin, study authors searched various databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar, SCOPUS, and Web of Science databases) to obtain randomized controlled trials assessing its use as combination therapy in the treatment of mild to moderate UC. “The outcomes assessed were the pooled odds of clinical response and remission as well as the endoscopic response,” the authors stated.

The final analysis included 7 studies with a total of 380 patients (curcumin plus mesalamine: n=188; placebo plus mesalamine: n=190). The study authors reported that the odds of clinical response were approximately threefold better for patients who received the combination of mesalamine plus curcumin vs placebo. 

Pooled odds ratios for clinical remission, clinical response, and endoscopic response/remission with curcumin use were reported to be 2.9 (95% CI, 1.5–5.5; I2 =45; P =.002), 2.6 (95% CI, 1.5–4.5; I2 =74%; P =.001), and 2.3 (95% CI, 1.2–4.6; I2 =35.5%; P =.01), respectively. With regard to curcumin dosage, the studies included doses as low as 100mg and as high as 10,000mg.  


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“This response was statistically significant, albeit with heterogeneity, probably due to the different severity scoring indices, curcumin dosages and routes of drug delivery used,” the authors stated. They added, “Given the minimal adverse events, we recommend that curcumin be considered as an adjunct to mesalamine in the treatment of UC.”

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