Staying Healthy

Curcumin supplements might ease meal-related discomfort

News briefs

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

photo of a container of turmeric powder tipped over on its side with some powder spilled out, alongside a white bottle with capsules containing turmeric also on its side with pills spilled out

You might know turmeric as the golden-yellow spice used in curry powder and yellow mustard. Turmeric contains the naturally occurring chemical curcumin, which might have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. And now a small randomized trial has found that taking curcumin supplements (derived from turmeric) helps reduce symptoms of functional dyspepsia — recurring, unexplained stomach pain, bloating, or early feelings of fullness. Scientists randomly assigned 206 people (ages 18 to 70) with functional dyspepsia to one of three treatments: taking 500 milligrams (mg) of curcumin (two 250-mg capsules) four times a day, taking 20 mg of the medication omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid) once a day, or taking both treatments each day. After about a month of treatment, people in all three groups said their dyspepsia symptoms had improved. The results were even better after two months. The findings suggest that curcumin supplements are as effective at relieving dyspepsia symptoms as omeprazole (which curbs stomach acid), and that curcumin is safe and well tolerated. The study was published online Sept. 11, 2023, by BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.

Image: © Elis Cora/Getty Images

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

About the Author

photo of Heidi Godman

Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Heidi Godman is the executive editor of the Harvard Health Letter. Before coming to the Health Letter, she was an award-winning television news anchor and medical reporter for 25 years. Heidi was named a journalism fellow … See Full Bio
View all posts by Heidi Godman

About the Reviewer

photo of Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff is the Steven P. Simcox/Patrick A. Clifford/James H. Higby Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and editor in chief of the Harvard … See Full Bio
View all posts by Anthony L. Komaroff, MD


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

You might also be interested in…

The Sensitive Gut

When your digestive system is running smoothly, you tend not to think about it. Once trouble begins, your gut — like a squeaky wheel — suddenly demands your attention. This Special Health Report, The Sensitive Gut, covers the major sources of gastrointestinal distress: irritable bowel syndrome, gastric reflux, upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, and excess gas. It also includes a special Bonus Section describing how emotional stress and anxiety can cause gastrointestinal distress.

Read More

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.