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Oral Supplementation of Turmeric Decreases Proteinuria, Hematuria, and Systolic Blood Pressure in Patients Suffering From Relapsing or Refractory Lupus Nephritis: A Randomized and Placebo-controlled Study

      Objective

      Despite highly expensive treatments, lupus nephritis remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis. Meanwhile, experimental studies indicate that curcumin attenuates both the binding of autoantibodies from systemic lupus erythematosus patients to their cognate antigens and also the inflammatory responses of tumor necrosis factor-alpha-stimulated human endothelial cells. Therefore, in this study we investigated effect(s) of oral curcumin supplementation on patients suffering from relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis.

      Design

      A randomized and placebo-controlled study was carried out.

      Setting

      The present study was conducted in Lupus clinic of Hafez Hospital, Out-Patient Department of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.

      Patients

      A total of 24 patients with relapsing or refractory biopsy-proven lupus nephritis, who were randomized in 2 groups (trial [n = 12] and control [n = 12] groups) were included in this study.

      Intervention

      With each meal, each patient in the trial group received 1 capsule for 3 months, which contained 500 mg turmeric, of which 22.1 mg was the active ingredient curcumin (3 capsules daily). The control group received 3 capsules (1 with each meal) for the same period, which contained starch and were identical in color and size to capsules given to patients in the trial group.

      Main Automatic Measure

      Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 15.0.

      Results

      A significant decrease in proteinuria was found when comparing pre- (954.2 ± 836.6) and 1, 2, and 3 months supplementation values (448.8 ± 633.5, 235.9 ± 290.1, and 260.9 ± 106.2, respectively) in the trial group. Also, systolic blood pressure and hematuria were found to decrease significantly when pre- and post-turmeric supplementation values were compared in the trial group. However, placebo capsules did not exert any statistically significant effect on measured variables in the control group over 3 months of the study. No adverse effect related to turmeric supplementation was observed during the trial.

      Conclusion

      Short-term turmeric supplementation can decrease proteinuria, hematuria, and systolic blood pressure in patients suffering from relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis and can be used as an adjuvant safe therapy for such patients.
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