Background: In the present study, the improvement of diabetic microangiopathy and retinopathy was evaluated in 38 diabetic patients treated with a novel curcumin phospholipids delivery form (Meriva®).
Methods: Diabetes was diagnosed at least 5 years before inclusion and all patients had signs of retinal oedema and of peripheral microangiopathy. Meriva® was administered at the dosage of 2 tablets/day (each tablet containing 500 mg Meriva® corresponding to 100 mg curcumin) for a period of at least 4 weeks in addition to the standard management plan, while a comparable group of subjects (n = 39) followed the standard management plan alone.
Results: All subjects (treatment and controls) completed the follow-up period, there were no dropouts and Meriva® showed an optimal tolerability. At 4 weeks, microcirculatory and clinical evaluations indicated an improvement of microangiopathy. In terms of peripheral microangiopathy, in the Meriva® group, there was a significant improvement in the venoarteriolar response (p<0.05) and a decrease in the score of peripheral oedema (p<0.05), a sign typically associated with the failure of the venoarteriolar response. At the retinal level, high-resolution, duplex scanning, used to measure retinal flow, showed improvements in the Meriva® treated patients. The evaluation of retinal oedema (Steigerwalt's scale) showed an improvement associated with improved visual acuity (Snellen scale). There were no clinical or microcirculatory effects in controls.
Conclusion: These preliminary observations, indicate the value of curcumin, when administered in a bioavailable form as with Meriva®, in the management of diabetic microangiopathy and retinopathy.