Curcuminoids plus piperine improve nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A clinical trial

J Cell Biochem. 2019 Sep;120(9):15989-15996. doi: 10.1002/jcb.28877. Epub 2019 Jun 6.


Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a prevalent hepatic disease is associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality related to the liver and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Lifestyle modification and good metabolic control is the first line of treatment, but not always efficacious in reversing NAFLD pathogenesis. Curcumin is a dietary phytochemical with hepatoprotective activities, though its low bioavailability is considered as a major challenge for clinical applications. Therefore, in this study, in order to improve the bioavailability of curcumin, it was coadministered with piperine and we investigated the effects of this bioavailability-enhanced curcumin on serum hepatic enzymes, lipid profile, and glycemic indices in patients with NAFLD.

Methods: In this randomized controlled parallel-group trial, 70 subjects with ultrasound-determined NAFLD were randomized to either 500 mg curcuminoids coadministered with 5 mg piperine daily or placebo for 12 weeks. NAFLD severity (on the basis of sonography) and hepatic function was assessed at baseline and at the study end.

Results: Seventy subjects completed the study. Supplementation with curcuminoids plus piperine significantly reduced the hematocrit (P = 0.027), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (P = 0.048) and the serum concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (P = 0.035), aspartate aminotransferase (P = 0.042), alkaline phosphatase (P = 0.004), cholesterol (P < 0.016), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.017), Iron (P = 0.026), and Hemoglobin (P = 0.025) and increased total iron-binding capacity (P = 0.003). However, except albumin, changes in other parameters were not statistically different between groups. In addition, administration of curcuminoids plus piperine significantly improved NAFLD severity (P < 0.001), which was statistically different compared with the placebo group (P = 0.022). Also, the percentage of improved patients was marginally higher in the curcuminoids plus piperine group when compared with the placebo group (P = 0.058).

Conclusion: This study suggested beneficial effects of combined curcuminoids and piperine supplementation on disease severity in patients with NAFLD.

Keywords: NAFLD severity; curcumin; hepatic enzymes; lipid profile; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkaloids / administration & dosage*
  • Alkaloids / pharmacokinetics
  • Benzodioxoles / administration & dosage*
  • Benzodioxoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Biological Availability
  • Diarylheptanoids / administration & dosage*
  • Diarylheptanoids / pharmacokinetics
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / diet therapy*
  • Piperidines / administration & dosage*
  • Piperidines / pharmacokinetics
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides / administration & dosage*
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides / pharmacokinetics
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography


  • Alkaloids
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Diarylheptanoids
  • Piperidines
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • piperine

Associated data

  • UMIN-CTR/UMIN000033774