The study involved 78 participants who were experiencing self-reported digestive issues – patients were randomized to take either a placebo or 500 mg of Curcugen, DolCas’ patented oleoresin-based 50% curcuminoids extract. Outcome measures included the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale, intestinal microbial profile, and assessment on the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scale. The GSRS subset of categories evaluated gastrointestinal clusters of reflux, abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation.
Furthermore, investigations into the underlying mechanisms of the GI discomfort and bioactive properties were conducted at baseline and at the end of the study. SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) was assessed via contrasting measurements of CO2, hydrogen, and methane in breath samples, while lower bowel bacterial changes were gauged with the use of at-home stool sample collections.
While no significant changes in the bacterial makeup were noted between the intervention and control group, curcumin consumption was associated with a significantly greater improvement in GSRS total scores compared to placebo, as was the subsequent improvement in mood dysregulation, the authors of the study said. The results showed that there was an average of 28% reduction in the digestive symptoms of the Curcugen group, compared with 18% in the control group, and a 52% reduction in anxiety levels in the Curcugen group compared to a 16% reduction in the control group.
“According to scientific literature, negative life events, stress, and anxiety are known triggers for, and exacerbators of, functional gut disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Functional Dyspepsia,” Dr. Shavon Jackson-Michel, Director of Medical & Scientific Affairs at DolCas Biotech, LLC, said. “The findings of this study on Curcugen offer an interesting, botanical solution to dealing comprehensively with a potential causal link between these two factors.”
While there were no significant changes in the bacterial makeup of the participants’ gut microbiota, lead investigator A.L. Lopresti said that the results suggest curcumin could influence neurotransmitter activity through avenues not related to probiotic bacteria.
“Results from this study indicate that changes in intestinal bacteria were not responsible for its positive gut action,” he said. “Further research using larger samples and testing methods, and applying more detailed microbial analyses might be warranted. Nevertheless, there are other potential mechanisms at play which are associated with curcumin’s GI supporting effects. These could include its influence on intestinal barrierintegrity, inflammation which influence neurotransmitter activity and visceral sensitivity.”
The proprietary curcumin formulation used in the study is a uniquely derived extract sourced from the oleoresin of turmeric. Its composition contrasts significantly to the highly concentrated extract of turmeric, which has a typical concentration of 95% in most products.
Instead of purifying the curcuminoids, Curcugen was composed so that it does not exclude other bioactive compounds native to the spice. Curcugen has a 98.5% turmeric profile, making it devoid of many of the dispersing agents, bioenhancers, excipients, or other materials commonly used in the industry to optimize the utility of the botanical’s highly-bioactive curcuminoids.
“The beneficial role of curcumin and many of its co-actives, including turmeric essential oils and polysaccharides, has been described in research and additionally observed to work in complement with other curcuminoids when formulated together,” Shavon-Michel said. “Curcugen’s revolutionary preparation delivers turmeric’s full-spectrum benefits while facilitating enhanced bioavailability.”