A curcumin-based 1-week triple therapy for eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection: Something to learn from failure?

Francesco Di Mario, Lucas G. Cavallaro, Antonio Nouvenne, Nicoletta Stefani, Giulia M. Cavestro, Veronica Iori, Marta Maino, Giuseppe Comparato, Libera Fanigliulo, Ester Morana, Alberto Pilotto, Laura Martelli, Mario Martelli, Gioacchino Leandro, Angelo Franzè

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Curcumin is the principal element of turmeric powder extracted from the root of Curcuma longa. Studies on curcumin have demonstrated some anti-Helicobacter pylori activity as well as immunomodulating properties. N-acetylcysteine and lactoferrin with their respective mucolytic and antibacterial activities might also be effective in H. pylori eradication therapy. Aim: To determine if a 7-day non-antibiotic therapy comprised of curcumin, lactoferrin, N-acetylcysteine, and pantoprazole was effective for eradication of H. pylori infection and reduction of gastric inflammation, assessed by serum pepsinogens and relief of symptoms. Subjects and Methods: Twenty-five consecutive H. pylori-positive patients (12 males, mean age 50 ± 12 years, range 31-76) with functional dyspepsia were enrolled. Patients were administered for 7 days curcumin 30 mg b.i.d., bovine lactoferrin 100 mg b.i.d., N-acetylcysteine 600 mg b.i.d., and pantoprazole 20 mg b.i.d. H. pylori status and upper gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed by 13C-urea breath test and a scale of upper gastrointestinal symptoms intensity (absent, mild, moderate, and severe), as well as a blood test for serum pepsinogens (sPGI, sPGII), gastrin-17 (G-17), and anti-H. pylori IgG (IgG-Hp) at baseline (T0) and after 2 months (T1). Results: Three of 25 patients (12%) were cured of H. pylori infection. A significant decrease in the overall severity of symptoms (T0: 6, interquartile range [IQR]: 4.5-8; T1: 2, IQR: 2-3; p ≤.001), and sPGII (T0: 16 μg/L, IQR: 13-22; T1: 10 μg/L, IQR: 8-16; p ≤.001) and sPGI (T0: 82 μg/L, IQR: 67-97; T1: 74 μg/L, IQR: 62-94; p =.02) levels were observed after 2 months of the treatment. IgG and G-17 values did not significantly decrease after 2 months. Conclusions: This novel therapy was not effective for H. pylori eradication. However, despite the bacterium persistence, significant improvement of dyspeptic symptoms and reduction of serologic signs of gastric inflammation were observed after 2 months at the end of the 7-day treatment schedule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Curcumin
  • Dyspepsia
  • H. pylori eradication
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Lactoferrin
  • N-acetylcysteine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Microbiology


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