curcumin improves symptoms, shortens duration of hospitalization and reduces deaths in COVID patients

Curcumin is a powerful herb that has a remarkable number of uses. Because it is a very effective anti-inflammatory, blood thinner, antioxidant and antiviral, it attracted early theoretical attention for COVID. Now the first human study has resoundingly validated that hope.

Curcumin is the active ingredient of the herb turmeric. In this double-blind study, patients with mild, moderate or severe symptoms were given conventional treatment. But some of them were given a placebo in addition to treatment, and some were given 525mg of curcumin twice a day for 14 days. Piperine was added to the curcumin to enhance its absorption. There are several very good curcumin supplements available with various ways of very effectively enhancing its absorption.

Compared to people who were given the placebo, the people who took curcumin showed early recovery from fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing.  They also experienced less deterioration over their hospital stays and lower incidence of “red flag” signs.  They had better ability to maintain oxygen saturation, and fewer of them required oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation. Fewer people on curcumin developed blood clots. The amount of time the patients had to stay in the hospital was significantly shorter for those whose symptoms were moderate or severe.

Curcumin was also able to reduce the risk of death from COVID. Nobody with mild or moderate COVID died in the curcumin group. In the placebo group, there was 1 death out of 30 mild cases and 5 deaths out of 25 moderate cases. There were 2 deaths out of 15 severe cases in the curcumin group compared to 5 out of 15 in the placebo group.

The researchers point out that curcumin is effective and safe even for long term use. They also point out that curcumin is effective for the many risk factors for COVID, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, kidney disease, immunosuppression and cancer. They conclude that adding curcumin, with its valuable anti-inflammatory, blood thinning and antiviral effects, could substantially reduce disease and death from COVID.

One interesting note. These results may be even more impressive than they seem because the placebo the researchers chose may not have been a complete placebo. For some reason, they used probiotics as a placebo. But there is theoretical reason to believe that probiotics could contribute to combatting COVID. So, these results with curcumin may be even more impressive.

Front Pharmacol. 2021; 12: 669362

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