Indena curcumin complex shows eye therapy potential

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ophthalmology

Curcumin complex may reduce relapses of recurrent anterior uveitis by over 80 percent, according to new research.

Results of the study, published in Clinical Ophthalmology,​ showed that after adjunct supplementation with the Indena’s curcumin–phosphatidylcholine complex, Meriva, only 18 percent of recurrent anterior uveitis patients suffered relapses.

“Our work showed for the first time that Meriva formulation permits us to reach active therapeutic levels in the eye at a common dosage of two tablets per day and is well tolerated,”​ stated the authors, led by Dr Pia Allegri, from the Ophthalmological Department of Lavagna Hospital, in Italy.

“This is the first large and controlled clinical study that demonstrates the efficacy of curcumin in eye relapsing diseases like anterior uveitis. It confirms the important anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin,”​ said Giovanni Appendino, Indena Scientific Advisor.

Curcumin effects

Indena said that with more than 3000 pre-clinical investigations, curcumin is one of the best investigated natural products. Curcumin has been associated with anti-inflammatory responses, and has been successfully used to treat inflammatory conditions in experimental research and in clinical trials, wrote the authors.

Like most dietary phenolics, curcumin shows a very poor oral absorption, however, these problems have now been largely overcome by phospholipid complexation of curcumin, Indena claims.

Uveitis is inflammation of the interior of the eye. Symptoms of recurrent anterior uveitis (RAU) include pain, redness, photophobia, and reduced vision.

After reviewing several studies on curcumin and on curcumin–phosphatidylcholine complex, some investigating its anti-inflammatory effect in eye diseases, the researchers set out to demonstrate the efficacy of curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex tablets as oral treatment of RAU.

Positive results

The authors stated that continuous and protracted treatment gave the result of a good anti-inflammatory effect and prevention of relapses.

The results showed that the cumin–phosphatidylcholine complex was well tolerated, and could reduce eye discomfort symptoms and signs after a few weeks of treatment in more than 80 percent of patients.

The researchers reported a total of 275 relapses one year before the treatment with curcumin complex, compared with 36 relapses at the end of the 12-month post supplementation follow-up period. This was an 88 percent improvement in RAU relapse.

Moreover, the researchers reported that only one patient dropped out due to gastric intolerance to curcumin, showing that the Meriva curcumin–phosphatidylcholine complex was in the majority was well tolerated

Important role

The researchers suggested the therapeutic use of curcumin, in addition to traditional therapeutic protocols, “can play an important role in the adjunctive therapy of RAU of various origins and gives a contribution to the clinical potential efficacy of this plant-derived product in medicine.”

“The success of our work suggests that curcumin’s potential anti-inflammatory effect may be useful in other chronic or relapsing ocular surface diseases, such as dry eye syndrome, allergic conjunctivitis, and blepharitis,”​ stated the authors.

Source: Clinical Ophthalmology

Volume 2010:4, Pages 1201-1206, doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S13271

“Management of chronic anterior uveitis relapses: efficacy of oral phospholipidic curcumin treatment. Long-term follow-up”

Authors: P. Allegri, A. Mastromarino, P. Neri

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