Effects of Curcumin on Bone Loss and Biochemical Markers of Bone Turnover in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

World Neurosurg. 2018 Jun:114:e785-e791. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.03.081. Epub 2018 Mar 19.


Background: Osteoporosis is one of the most common problems of patients with spinal cord injuries (SCIs). The current study aimed to evaluate the antiosteoporotic effects of curcumin on densitometry parameters and biomarkers of bone turnovers among patients with SCI.

Materials and methods: The current controlled clinical trial was conducted among 100 patients with SCI referred to an outpatient clinic of rehabilitation in Ilam City, Iran, in 2013-2015. The intervention group received 110/mg/kg/day curcumin for 6 months and the control group received placebo. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured in all patients. The level of procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide, serum carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen, osteocalcin, and bone-specific alkaline phosphates were compared before and after study.

Results: BMD indicators of lumbar, femoral neck, and total hip in the control group significantly decreased compared with the beginning of study. However, in the curcumin group, a significant increase was observed in BMD indicators of lumbar, femoral neck, and hip at the end of study compared with the beginning. There was also a significant difference between interventional and control groups for the mean BMD of femoral neck and hip at the end of study (0.718 ± 0.002 g/cm2 vs. 0.712 ± 0.003 g/cm2 and 0.742 ± 0.031 g/cm2 vs. 0.692 ± 0.016 g/cm2, respectively).

Conclusions: Curcumin, via modulation of densitometry indices and bone resorption markers, showed inhibitory effects on the process of osteoporosis. Treatment with curcumin was significantly associated with a decrease in the osteoporosis progression and bone turnover markers of patients with SCI after 6 months.

Keywords: Bone mineral density; Bone turnover; Curcumin; Osteoporosis; Spinal cord injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacology
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis / etiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Curcumin