Curcumin no better than placebo for preventing Crohn’s recurrence

  • Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol
  • 27 Aug 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Curcumin is no more effective than placebo for preventing recurrence of Crohn’s disease (CD) in patients undergoing thiopurine treatment after bowel resection.

Why this matters

  • CD recurrence after surgery is a major concern, with three-quarters of patients experiencing endoscopic postoperative recurrence within the first year.
  • Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and has shown benefit for inducing endoscopic remission in patients with ulcerative colitis.

Study design

  • Researchers in this double-blind randomized controlled trial studied patients with CD receiving azathioprine (Imuran) 2-2.5 mg/kg/day for 6 months after bowel resection. 
  • They randomly assigned patients to groups given either oral curcumin 3 g/day (n=31) or placebo (n=31) for 6 months.
  • Funding: PHRC national, Association François Aupetit, 3i Nature, CHU Clermont-Ferrand.

Key results

  • CD recurred at 6 months in 58.1% (18) of patients in the curcumin group and in 67.7% (21) of patients receiving placebo (P=.60). 
  • More patients in the curcumin group had severe CD recurrence (54.8%) than those receiving placebo (25.8%; P=.034). 
  • Patient QoL scores at month 6 were similar in both groups (P=.80).
  • The rate of severe adverse events was higher for patients in the curcumin group (16.1%) than the placebo group (6.4%).

Limitations

  • The study was discontinued after interim analysis.