Use of Curcumin in Achieving Clinical and Endoscopic Remission in Ulcerative Colitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Am J Med Sci. 2018 Oct;356(4):350-356. doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2018.06.023.


Background: Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the mucosal layers of the colon. Treatment of refractory UC is challenging and has a huge healthcare burden. Although there have been advancements in immunomodulatory therapies, these require a step-up financially, and these medications are also associated with significant adverse events. Curcumin, an active ingredient of turmeric, has been studied in the past and found to be useful in the treatment of UC when used as an adjuvant along with mesalamine. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the role curcumin plays in clinical and endoscopic remission in patients with UC.

Materials and methods: A comprehensive literature review was conducted by first searching the MEDLINE, Pubmed, and Embase databases through December 2017 to identify all studies that compared the use of curcumin when used along with mesalamine with placebo for clinical and endoscopic improvement and remission.

Results: Three randomized controlled trials including 142 patients were included in the study. Use of curcumin along with mesalamine was associated with increased odds of clinical remission (pooled odds ratio of 6.78, 95% CI: 2.39-19.23, P = 0.042). Clinical improvement, endoscopic remission and improvement rate also trended higher in the curcumin group compared to placebo.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates higher clinical remission rates when curcumin was used in combination with mesalamine to achieve remission in patients with UC. Curcumin, due to its cost effectiveness and safer side effect profile, can decrease the healthcare burden and morbidity associated with this relapsing and remitting disease.

Keywords: Curcumin; Inflammatory bowel disease; Mesalamine; Turmeric; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Endoscopy
  • Humans
  • Mesalamine / therapeutic use*
  • Remission Induction / methods*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Mesalamine
  • Curcumin