The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 12 No. 5 • October 2009

Curcumin As a Maintenance Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

A randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial was conducted to test the efficacy of curcumin as maintenance therapy for patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis (UC), e.g., to determine whether curcumin could prevent relapse.1

Ulcerative colitis is a type of chronic, relapsing inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, 45 patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis received curcumin, 1 gram after breakfast and 1 gram after the evening meal, plus sulfasalazine or mesalamine, while another 44 patients received placebo plus sulfasalazine or mesalamine for six months. Of 43 patients who received curcumin, 2 relapsed during the six months of treatment (4.65%), while 8 of 39 patients (20.51%) receiving placebo relapsed (P = 0.040). The authors attribute the beneficial effects of curcumin in this study, at least in part, to the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-kappaB (nuclear factor kappa B) that has been reported in other studies.

The researchers report: “In our study, both the clinical and endoscopic evaluation scores were significantly improved by curcumin therapy. Especially the endoscopic score was substantially improved compared with the placebo.”

  1. Hanai et al. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 4:1502-6 (2006).

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