In Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair, Curcumin Lacks Benefit


FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 — When used perioperatively in elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, curcumin has no beneficial effect, according to a study published in the Oct. 29 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Amit X. Garg, M.D., from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 606 patients from 10 hospitals scheduled to undergo elective repair of an unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm to receive either curcumin capsules (2,000-mg doses eight times for four days) or placebo capsules.

The researchers found that in each group, more than 85 percent of patients took more than 80 percent of their scheduled capsules. None of the four biomarkers indicating injury or inflammation (postoperative urine interleukin-18 and perioperative rise in serum creatinine, plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, and plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) were significantly affected by curcumin compared with placebo. The risk for acute kidney injury was higher with curcumin than placebo (17 versus 10 percent; P = 0.01); no significant between-group differences were seen in the median length of hospital stay (both five days; P > 0.9) or the risk for clinical events (both 9 percent; P = 0.9).

“Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Indian and Chinese medicine, and curcumin continues to gain popularity today as a natural health supplement,” the authors write. “Our findings emphasize the importance of testing turmeric and curcumin in rigorous human clinical trials before espousing any health benefits, as is currently done in the popular media.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Posted: November 2018