Curcuminoids from Curcuma Longa: New adjuvants for the treatment of crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis?

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(13):2136-2143. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1456403. Epub 2018 Apr 12.


Crohn's Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) result from an overreaction of the bowel to multifactorial stimuli leading to discomfort, pain, and it is associated with high morbidity and lethality. The medications commonly used are expensive and associated with multiple side effects. Curcuma longa exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions and has shown positive effects on CD and UC treatment, possibly due to the presence of curcuminoids. The objective of this review was to evaluate the role of curcuminoids in the treatment of IBD. A search for articles associating curcuminoids and CD and UC was performed using MEDLINE-PubMed. It has been found that curcumin can reduce oxidative stress and inhibit the migration of neutrophils and inducible nitric oxide synthase in the intestine. It may also improve micro and macroscopic lesions, prevent apoptosis of intestinal cells and also induce the restoration of the mitogen-activated protein kinase immune reaction. As the incidence of CD and UC is growing in many populations, there is an urgency to find an appropriate and accessible therapeutic approach to improve quality of life of patients. The use of curcumin is cheap, efficient and associated with no side effects, and may become an alternative to the IBD treatment.

Keywords: Crohn's Disease; Curcuminoids; Ulcerative Colitis; curcuma longa.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diarylheptanoids / pharmacology
  • Diarylheptanoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Diarylheptanoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Curcumin