Curcumin in Combination With Mesalamine Induces Remission in Patients With Mild-to-Moderate Ulcerative Colitis in a Randomized Controlled Trial

Alon Lang, Nir Salomon, Justin C.Y. Wu, Uri Kopylov, Adi Lahat, Ofir Har-Noy, Jessica Y.L. Ching, Pui Kuan Cheong, Benjamin Avidan, Dorit Gamus, Ioannis Kaimakliotis, Rami Eliakim, Siew C. Ng, Shomron Ben-Horin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

261 Scopus citations


Background Aims: The phytochemical compound curcumin was reported to be effective in maintaining remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). We investigated curcumin's efficacy in inducing remission in patients with active mild-to-moderate UC. Methods: We performed a multicenter randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 50 mesalamine-treated patients with active mild-to-moderate UC (defined by the Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index [SCCAI]) who did not respond to an additional 2 weeks of the maximum dose of mesalamine oral and topical therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to groups who were given curcumin capsules (3 g/day, n = 26) or an identical placebo (n = 24) for 1 month, with continued mesalamine. The primary outcome was the rate of clinical remission (SCCAI ≤2) at week 4. Clinical and endoscopic responses were also recorded. Results: In the intention-to-treat analysis, 14 patients (53.8%) receiving curcumin achieved clinical remission at week 4, compared with none of the patients receiving placebo (P = .01; odds ratio [OR], 42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-760). Clinical response (reduction of ≥3 points in SCCAI) was achieved by 17 patients (65.3%) in the curcumin group vs 3 patients (12.5%) in the placebo group (. P < .001; OR, 13.2; 95% CI, 3.1-56.6). Endoscopic remission (partial Mayo score ≤1) was observed in 8 of the 22 patients evaluated in the curcumin group (38%), compared with none of 16 patients evaluated in the placebo group (P = .043; OR, 20.7; 95% CI, 1.1-393). Adverse events were rare and comparable between the 2 groups. Conclusions: Addition of curcumin to mesalamine therapy was superior to the combination of placebo and mesalamine in inducing clinical and endoscopic remission in patients with mild-to-moderate active UC, producing no apparent adverse effects. Curcumin may be a safe and promising agent for treatment of UC. number: NCT01320436.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1444-1449.e1
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical trial
  • IBD
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Phytochemical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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