Background: Curcumin, the bioactive ingredient of turmeric, has been shown to improve the treatment of peptic ulcer (PU) in animal studies. However, clinical studies confirming this effect of curcumin have been scant.
Objective: To assess the efficacy of adjunctive therapy with curcumin on the eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection and severity of dyspepsia in patients with PU.
Methods: In this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group trial, patients diagnosed with PU were assigned to standard H. pylori eradication triple therapy with clarithromycin (500 mg b.i.d.), amoxicillin (1 000 mg b.i.d.) and pantoprazole (40 mg b.i.d.), and randomized to receive either curcumin (500 mg/day) or placebo as adjunct to standard treatment. Severity of dyspepsia symptoms was evaluated using the Hong Kong dyspepsia index (HKDI). Eradication of H. pylori infection was assessed using the urea breath test (UBT) at 4 weeks following the end of treatment.
Results: Adjunctive therapy with curcumin was associated with a greater improvement of dyspepsia symptoms according to the HKDI score (change score: -12.90±2.81 vs. -9.60±3.39 in the curcumin and control group, respectively; p<0.001). The number of subjects whose dyspepsia was resolved during the course of treatment was significantly higher in the curcumin (27.6%) vs. placebo (6.7%) group (p=0.042). Nevertheless, the results of UBT test showed equal rate (73.3%) of H. pylori eradication in the study groups. Curcumin was safe during the course of trial.
Conclusion: Addition of curcumin on top of the standard anti-helicobacter regimen in patients with PU is safe and improves dyspepsia symptoms but has no enhancing effect on the eradication of H. pylori infection.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.