Efficacy of Curcumin on Cognitive Function Scores in Women with Premenstrual Syndrome and Dysmenorrhea: A Triple-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

Chin J Integr Med. 2023 May;29(5):387-393. doi: 10.1007/s11655-023-3732-3. Epub 2023 Apr 29.


Objective: To assess the efficacy of a curcumin supplementation on cognitive abilities in women suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea.

Methods: A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted from December 2019 to March 2020. A total of 124 women who had both PMS and dysmenorrhea were enrolled, and were equally and randomly assigned to the curcumin group or placebo group, 62 cases in each. Each subject received either a capsule containing 500 mg of curcuminoid, or a placebo daily, for 10 days (7 days before and until 3 days after the onset of menstrual bleeding) over 3 menstrual cycles. The cognitive abilities questionnaire was used to measures cognitive functions in 7 specific areas. Adverse reactions were monitored during and after the trial in both groups.

Results: Administration of curcumin was associated with a significant increase in memory score (P=0.002), inhibitory control and selective attention (P=0.020), and total cognitive ability task (P=0.024). In addition, significant increments were found in scores of memory (3.5±3.1 vs. 0.4±3.8 in the curcumin and placebo groups, respectively; P=0.035), inhibitory control and selective attention (3.0±3.7 vs. 0.4±3.7; P=0.027) and total cognitive abilities (8.3±12.3 vs. 2.2±12.4; P=0.025) in the curcumin group versus placebo groups. Curcumin was safe and well-tolerable in current clinical trial.

Conclusion: Curcumin has a beneficial efficacy on cognitive function scores in women with PMS and dysmenorrhea, with improvements in memory, inhibitory control and selective attention. (Registration No. IRCT20191112045424N1, available at: https://www.irct.ir ).

Keywords: cognition; curcumin; dysmenorrheal; memory; placebo-controlled clinical trial; premenstrual syndrome; triple-blind.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cognition
  • Curcumin* / pharmacology
  • Curcumin* / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dysmenorrhea / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Premenstrual Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome* / psychology


  • Curcumin