Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of 4 weeks or longer suggest that curcumin may afford some protection against oxidative stress.
Nutr Res. 2018 12 ;60:1-12. Epub 2018 Sep 4. PMID: 30527253
Oxidative stress (OS) is associated with aging and multiple diseases, yet the effects of curcumin in humans are not definite. We undertook a meta-analysis of the effects of curcumin on OS biomarkers. In January 2018, we searched PubMed, Books@Ovid, Journals@Ovid, EMBASE, MEDLINE(R), and Web of Science to identify randomized controlled trials conducted≥4 weeks and investigating the effects of curcumin on OS biomarkers, including glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity in red blood cells (RBC), serum malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. The standardized mean difference (SMD) with a 95% confidence interval(CI) was used to present the results. The meta-analysis included eight clinical studies (626 patients). There was a significant reduction in circulating MDA concentrations (SMD = -0.769, 95% CI: -1.059 to -0.478) and a significant increase in SOD activity (SMD = 1.084, 95% CI: 0.487 to 1.680) following curcumin supplementation. There was no change in the GPX activity in RBC. There was no significant association between the MDA-lowering effect of curcumin with underlying diseases or treatment duration. However, curcumin showed the MDA-lowering effect at curcuminoids doses ≥600 mg/d (P < .0001). This effect was greater when combined with piperine than curcuminoids alone (SMD = -1.085, 95% CI: -1.357 to -0.813; SMD = -0.850, 95% CI: -1.158 to -0.542). Curcumin may play an anti-oxidative role by reducing circulating MDA concentrations and increasing SOD activity. Further research of curcumin in different populations with multiple biomarkers of redox status is required.