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Turmeric extract may improve irritable bowel syndrome symptomology in otherwise healthy adults: a pilot study.


To assess the effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa) extract on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptomology in otherwise healthy adults.


Partially blinded, randomized, two-dose, pilot study.


Five hundred (500) volunteers were screened for IBS using the Rome II criteria. Two hundred and seven (207) suitable volunteers were randomized.


One or two tablets of a standardized turmeric extract taken daily for 8 weeks.


IBS prevalence, symptom-related quality of life (IBSQOL) and self-reported effectiveness.


IBS prevalence decreased significantly in both groups between screening and baseline (41% and 57%), with a further significant drop of 53% and 60% between baseline and after treatment, in the one- and two-tablet groups respectively (p < 0.001). A post-study analysis revealed abdominal pain/discomfort score reduced significantly by 22% and 25% in the one- and two-tablet group respectively, the difference tending toward significance (p = 0.071). There were significant improvements in all bar one of the IBSQOL scales of between 5% and 36% in both groups, approximately two thirds of all subjects reported an improvement in symptoms after treatment, and there was a favorable shift in self-reported bowel pattern. There were no significant differences between groups.


Turmeric may help reduce IBS symptomology. Placebo controlled trials are now warranted to confirm these findings.

Source: Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Booth J. J Altern Complement Med. 2004;10(6):1015-8.


NCB-02 (standardized Curcumin preparation) protects dinitrochlorobenzene- induced colitis through down-regulation of NFkappa-B and iNOS.


To evaluate the efficacy and mechanism of action of NCB 02, a standardized Curcumin preparation, against 2, 4 dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) induced ulcerative colitis in rats.


Ulcerative colitis was induced in male rats by sensitizing with topical application of DNCB in acetone for 14 d and intra-colonol challenge with DNCB on day 15. A separate group of animals with vehicle treatment in similar fashion served as control group. Colitis rats were divided into different groups and treated with NCB-02 at doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg b.wt p.o. for 10 d. Sulfasalazine at a dose of 100 mg/kg b.wt for 10 d served as a reference group. On day 10 after respective assigned treatment, all the animals were euthanized and the length of the colon, weight of entire colon and distal 8 cm of the colon were recorded. The distal part of the colon was immediately observed under a stereomicroscope and the degree of damage was scored. Further distal 8 cm of the colon was subject to the determination of colonic myeloperoxidase (MPO), lipid peroxidation (LPO) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities. A small piece of the sample from distal colon of each animal was fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin and embedded in paraffin wax and sectioned for immunohistochemical examination of NFkappa-B and iNOS expression.


NCB-02 showed a dose dependent protection against DNCB-induced alteration in colon length and weight. NCB-02 treatment also showed a dose dependent protection against the elevated levels of MPO, LPO and ALP, induced by DNCB. NCB-02 demonstrated a significant effect at a dose of 100 mg/kg b.wt., which was almost equipotent to 100 mg/kg b.wt. of sulfasalazine. Treatment with sulfasalazine and curcumin at a dose of 100 mg/kg b.wt. inhibited the DNCB-induced overexpression of NFkappa-B and iNOS in the colon.


Curcumin treatment ameliorates colonic damage in DNCB induced colitic rats, an effect associated with an improvement in intestinal oxidative stress and downregulation of colonic NFkappa-B and iNOS expression.

Source: Venkataranganna MV, Rafiq M, Gopumadhavan S, Peer G, Babu UV, Mitra SK. World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb 21;13(7):1103-7.


Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.


Curcumin is a biologically active phytochemical substance present in turmeric and has pharmacologic actions that might benefit patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). The aim in this trial was to assess the efficacy of curcumin as maintenance therapy in patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis (UC).


Eighty-nine patients with quiescent UC were recruited for this randomized, double-blind, multicenter trial of curcumin in the prevention of relapse. Forty-five patients received curcumin, 1g after breakfast and 1g after the evening meal, plus sulfasalazine (SZ) or mesalamine, and 44 patients received placebo plus SZ or mesalamine for 6 months. Clinical activity index (CAI) and endoscopic index (EI) were determined at entry, every 2 months (CAI), at the conclusion of 6-month trial, and at the end of 6-month follow-up.


Seven patients were protocol violators. Of 43 patients who received curcumin, 2 relapsed during 6 months of therapy (4.65%), whereas 8 of 39 patients (20.51%) in the placebo group relapsed (P=.040). Recurrence rates evaluated on the basis of intention to treat showed significant difference between curcumin and placebo (P=.049). Furthermore, curcumin improved both CAI (P=.038) and EI (P=.0001), thus suppressing the morbidity associated with UC. A 6-month follow-up was done during which patients in both groups were on SZ or mesalamine. Eight additional patients in the curcumin group and 6 patients in the placebo group relapsed.


Curcumin seems to be a promising and safe medication for maintaining remission in patients with quiescent UC. Further studies on curcumin should strengthen our findings.

Source: Hanai H, Iida T, Takeuchi K, Watanabe F, et al.  Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Dec;4(12):1502-6.


Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study.

Curcumin, a natural compound used as a food additive, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in cell culture and animal studies. A pure curcumin preparation was administered in an open label study to five patients with ulcerative proctitis and five with Crohn's disease. All proctitis patients improved, with reductions in concomitant medications in four, and four of five Crohn's disease patients had lowered CDAI scores and sedimentation rates. This encouraging pilot study suggests the need for double-blind placebo-controlled follow-up studies.

Source: Holt PR, Katz S, Kirshoff R. Dig Dis Sci. 2005;50(11):2191-3.