A study has suggested that the compound found in turmeric known as curcumin could be as effective as a medication for curbing excess stomach acid known as omeprazole which is used for treating indigestion symptoms.
Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant’s root and contains a natural active compound known as curcumin that’s considered to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which has been used for decades as a therapeutic remedy in South East Asia for treating indigestion.
But it’s unclear how well it measures up against conventional medications for this disorder, mostly because there haven’t been any direct comparison studies.
So the researchers randomly assigned 206 participants between the ages of 18 and 70 having recurrent upset stomach known as functional dyspepsia to 1 of 3 treatment groups for 28 days.
The groups were: a turmeric group consisting of 69 participants who received 2 large 250 mg curcumin capsules 4 times daily and 1 small dummy capsule; an omeprazole group consisting of 68 participants who received 1 small 20 mg capsule each day and 2 large dummy capsules 4 times daily; and a turmeric as well as omeprazole group consisting of 69 participants.
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor, which is used for treating functional dyspepsia, with symptoms being feeling overly full after meals known as postprandial fullness, a feeling of fullness after only a small meal known as early satiety, and a burning sensation or/and pain in the food pipe or/and stomach known as epigastric pain.
However, chronic use of proton pump inhibitors has been associated with increased risk of fractures, micronutrient deficiencies, and an increased risk of infections.
Of the 206 participants enrolled, 151 finished the study, with 20 participants dropping out in the group taking curcumin; 19 participants dropping out in the group taking omeprazole; and 16 participants dropping out in the group taking both treatments.
Participants in all 3 groups had similar indigestion scores and clinical characteristics, as evaluated by the SODA score (Severity of Dyspepsia Assessment), at the beginning of the study. Participants were reevaluated after a 28-day period and once again after 56 days.
SODA scores suggested substantial symptom severity reductions by day 28 for pain and other symptoms for individuals in the combined group, curcumin alone group, and omeprazole alone group.
The improvements were even more significant after the 56-day mark for pain as well as other symptoms.
No significant side effects were documented, even though tests for liver function showed some level of deterioration in overweight curcumin users.
The researchers acknowledge several limitations such as the small study size, the short treatment period, and the absence of long-term monitoring data.
Even so, this randomized controlled study presents reliable evidence for treating functional dyspepsia, with curcumin.
Want to use our images on your site? Right click on image for embed code