Effects of phytosomal curcumin on anthropometric parameters, insulin resistance, cortisolemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease indices: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Eur J Nutr. 2020 Mar;59(2):477-483. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-01916-7. Epub 2019 Feb 22.


Purpose: Curcumin has shown to exert a positive impact on human glucose metabolism, even if its bioavailability is usually very low. The present study aimed to explore the effect of phosphatidylserine- and piperine-containing curcumin phytosomes on a large number of metabolic parameters related to insulin resistance, in the context of a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial involving 80 overweight subjects with suboptimal fasting plasma glucose.

Methods: Subjects were randomized to be treated with indistinguishable tablets (2 per day, to be taken after dinner) containing 800 mg phytosomal curcumin (Curserin®: 200 mg curcumin, 120 mg phosphatidylserine, 480 mg phosphatidylcholine and 8 mg piperine from Piper nigrum L. dry extract) for 8 weeks.

Results: After 56-day treatment, the curcumin-treated group experienced a significant improvement in fasting plasma insulin (FPI), HOMA index, waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides (TG), HDL-C, liver transaminases, gamma-GT, index of liver steatosis and serum cortisol compared to the baseline. FPI, TG, liver transaminases, fatty liver index and serum cortisol level also significantly improved compared with the placebo-treated group. Compared to the baseline, at the end of the study placebo group experienced an improvement only in FPG and TG.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the present trial shows that supplementation with a phytosomal preparation of curcumin containing phosphatidylserine and piperine could improve glycemic factors, hepatic function and serum cortisol levels in subjects with overweight and impaired fasting glucose.

Keywords: Clinical trial; Curcumin; Diabetes; Metabolic syndrome; NAFLD; Phosphatidylserine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / blood*


  • Insulin
  • Curcumin
  • Hydrocortisone