Clinical Evidence

A randomized controlled trial on the anti-inflammatory effects of Curcumin in patients with chronic sulphur mustard-induced cutaneous complications
Ann Clin Biochem. 2012; 49(Pt 6):580-88
In the previous study Curcumin supplementation has shown remarkable improvement of pruritus, QoL and antioxidant status. However, it is unclear whether mitigation of systemic inflammation by Curcumin has a role in the positive observed effect.

To investigate the impact of Curcumin on serum inflammatory biomarkers and their association with pruritus severity and QoL.

Study Design:

A randomized, double-blind and placebo controlled trial with 96 male Iranian veterans (age 37-59 years) who were suffering from chronic SM-induced pruritic skin lesions, was planned. Included patients were randomized to receive Curcumin (1 g/day, n=46) or matched placebo (n=50) for a period of four weeks. Serum concentrations of interleukins 6 (IL-6) and 8 (IL-8) together with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were measured at the baseline and at the end of the study. Assessment of pruritus severity was performed using the pruritus score and Qol using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI).

Results and Discussion:
  1. Serum IL-6 concentrations were found to remain statistically unchanged after Curcumin and placebo administration
  2. Serum IL-8 and hs-CRP were significantly reduced in both groups but the magnitude of reduction was found to be greater in Curcumin group (P<0.001)
  3. Curcumin supplementation caused marked decrease in serum CGRP (P<0.001), while there was no significant difference in placebo group
  4. Supplementation with Curcumin was associated with a marked decline in pruritus score (P<0.001), whereas there was no significant difference observed in the placebo group
  5. DLQI was decreased in both Curcumin and placebo group at the end of the trial, however, the rate of reduction was greater in Curcumin versus placebo group (P<0.001)

The current findings add to a growing body of literature on the beneficial effects of Curcumin in dermatological disorders, also the efficient anti-pruritic effects and improvement of QoL by Curcumin could be attributed to both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory functions of this phytochemical.