DolCas Biotech undertakes new research on Curcumin and the “brain” in the gut
A new clinical study has established curcumin’s potential for supporting digestive health, with subsequent positive effect on mood and quality of life. In the study, DolCas Biotech’s proprietary branded curcuminoids formula, Curcugen, was evaluated as a stand-alone botanical intervention in subjects with self-reported digestive discomfort. The study’s researchers proposed the botanical’s established anti-inflammatory activity held capacities for enhancing gut health and improving intestinal barrier function.
The eight-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, led by Adrian Lopresti, PhD and published in January in the journal BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, was conducted on 78 adult volunteers with self-reported digestive complaints. Participants were recruited and randomised to receive either a placebo or 500 mg Curcugen, DolCas’ patented, oleoresin-based, 50%-curcuminoids extract. Outcome measures included the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS), intestinal microbial profile, and assessment on the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scale. The GSRS subset of categories evaluated gastrointestinal (GI) clusters of reflux, abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation.
Additional investigations into underlying mechanisms, such as upper and/or lower microbial overgrowth were evaluated at baseline and end-of-study via two methods. 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 use of at-home stool sample collections.
While no significant changes in bacterial make-up were noted between the intervention and control group, curcumin consumption was associated with a significantly greater improvement in GSRS total scores in comparison to the placebo, as was subsequent improvement in mood dysregulation. Specifically, results showed an average 28% reduction in overall digestive symptoms in the Curcugen group, compared to only 18% in the placebo group. There was a 52% reduction in anxiety levels with Curcugen, compared to only a 16% reduction in the placebo 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,”2 notes Dr Shavon Jackson-Michel, director of Medical & Scientific Affairs at DolCas Biotech, LLC. “The findings of this study on Curcugen offer an interesting, botanical solution to dealing comprehensively with a potential causal link between these two factors.”
“The mind-gut link is a widely explored phenomena,” attests the lead investigator Lopresti. “Results from this study indicate that changes in intestinal bacteria were not responsible for its positive gut action. 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 barrier integrity, inflammation which influence neurotransmitter activity and visceral sensitivity.”
DolCas’ proprietary curcumin formulation is a uniquely derived curcuminoids extract sourced from the oleoresin of turmeric. This composition contrasts significantly to the highly concentrated extract of turmeric, curcuminoids-95% (C-95) that is the common default of the industry. Instead of purifying the turmeric curcuminoids, Curcugen has been carefully composed so that it does not exclude any of the other synergistic bioactives native to the much-revered spice.
According to DolCas Biotech, Curcugen possesses palate-friendly flavour and can be easily integrated as a functional booster in beverages, foods, and supplements due to its water-dispersibility. It boasts 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 optimise 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,” adds Shavon-Michel. “Curcugen’s revolutionary preparation delivers turmeric’s full-spectrum benefits while facilitating enhanced bioavailability.”