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Health News Archive 358 - Inflammatory Bowel Disease
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Curcumin Reduces Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms

Five patients (aged 28-54 years) with ulcerative proctitis or proctosignoiditis, who had complained of symptoms for 1-32 years, received 550 mg of curcumin twice a day for one month, and then 550 mg three times a day for one month.  All five patients improved, with reductions in concommitant medication use in four.  The improvement in Global score ranged from 15% to 75%.  Five patients with Crohn's disease received 360 mg of curcumin three times a day for one month and then 360 mg four times a day for two months.  Four of five patients improved, as demonstrated by decreases in Crohn's Disease Activity Index scores of 12.9-44% and reductions in sedimentation rates of 17-71%.

Comment by Alan R. Gaby, MD:

Curcumin is a component of the common spice, turmeric.  Animal studies have demonstrated an anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin, and an uncontrolled trial in humans suggest that it might be beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  The results of the present study suggest that curcumin may also be an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.  A larger, placebo-controlled trial would be worthwhile.

Source: Holt PR, Katz S, Kirshoff R. Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci. 2005;50:2191-2193.

Reprinted with exclusive permission of Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients February/March 2006

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