Natural Remedy Turmeric Matches Omeprazole for Indigestion
12 Sept 2023 • In the first study of its kind, published online in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, a natural compound found in the culinary spice turmeric was found to be as effective as omeprazole—for treating indigestion symptoms. The researchers randomly assigned 206 patients aged 18-70 with recurrent functional dyspepsia of unknown cause to one of three treatment groups for a period of 28 days.
- Turmeric (two large 250 mg capsules of curcumin 4 times a day) and one small dummy capsule (69 patients);
- Omeprazole (one small 20 mg capsule daily and two large dummy capsules 4 times a day (68 patients);
- and turmeric plus omeprazole (69 patients).
WHAT DID THE STUDY FIND?
- Patients in all three groups had similar clinical characteristics and indigestion scores, as assessed by the Severity of Dyspepsia Assessment score or SODA, at the start of the trial. Patients were reassessed after 28 days and then again after 56 days.
- SODA scores indicated significant reductions in symptom severity by day 28 for pain (−4.83, –5.46 and −6.22) and other symptoms (−2.22, –2.32, and −2.31) for those in the combined, curcumin alone, and omeprazole alone groups, respectively.
- These improvements were even stronger after 56 days for pain and other symptoms.
Turmeric, derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, contains a naturally active compound called curcumin thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and has long been used as a medicinal remedy, including for the treatment of indigestion, in South East Asia. But it’s not clear how well it compares with conventional drugs for this indication, largely because there have been no head to head studies.
The researchers acknowledge the small size of the study, as well as several other limitations, including the short intervention period and lack of long-term monitoring data. Further larger, long term studies are needed, they say.
Nevertheless, they conclude: “This multicentre randomised controlled trial provides highly reliable evidence for the treatment of functional dyspepsia,” adding that “the new findings from our study may justify considering curcumin in clinical practice.”
Source: BMJ | Read full story