Clinical Evidence

Are Curcuminoids Effective C-Reactive Protein-Lowering Agents in Clinical Practice? Evidence from a Meta-Analysis
Phytother Res. 2014; 28(5):633-42
Inflammation is now recognized as the root cause of several chronic health conditions and diseases. Inflammation manifests itself through increase in several inflammatory proteins and cell signaling molecules in the body. One of the proteins of interest here is C-reactive protein (CRP), which is an acute phase reactant. The presence of high CRP levels is considered as an indication of inflammation in the body. C-reactive proteins as a marker for inflammation are particularly important in the cardiovascular diseases. Levels of CRP are considered as an independent biomarker for cardiovascular disease (CVD). C-reactive proteins have been shown to stimulate the aggregation of LDL particles and also stimulate the uptake of LDL in macrophages resulting in promoting the formation of foam cells. Foam cells are fat laden macrophages and are indicators of plaque build-up increasing the risk of CVD.

Curcumin has been known in reduction of CRP levels, which helps in reducing the CVD risks.

To perform a meta-analysis of clinical trials for investigating the effect of Curcuminoids supplementation on serum CRP concentrations.

Study Design:

This meta-analysis was conducted on guidelines based on PRISMA statement, 2009. MEDLINE and SCOPUS databases were searched and studies which fulfilled the eligibility criteria were selected. The eligibility criteria for the meta-analysis were cross-over design, use of Curcuminoids as monotherapy or as adjunctive therapy, enough data on baseline and end of trial CRP concentrations, use of purified Curcumin extract and if the study was published in peer reviewed journal. Data was extracted and quality assessment was done on Jadad scale. Cochrane Program Review Manager Version 5.1 (Cochrane collaboration, Oxford, UK) was used for the meta-analysis.

  • Total 6 studies with 312 subjects were included in this meta-analysis. One hundred and seventy two subjects received Curcuminoids intervention and 170 subjects received placebo for duration of 6 days to 3 months
  • Random effect analysis showed that Curcuminoids supplementation resulted in significant lowering of the serum CRP concentrations
  • It was shown by power analysis that population pooled was having 100% power for detecting significant difference in CRP concentrations between active and placebo groups

The results of the meta-analysis suggested Curcuminoids as an effective agent in reducing circulating CRP levels. The authors of the study explained the importance of bioavailability enhancer (BioPerine®) to get maximal therapeutic benefit from the Curcuminoids.