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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 May 17;14:159. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-159.

Decrease of a specific biomarker of collagen degradation in osteoarthritis, Coll2-1, by treatment with highly bioavailable curcumin during an exploratory clinical trial.

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Bone and Cartilage Research Unit, Institute of Pathology, University of Liège, Level 5, CHU Sart-Tilman, 4000 Liège, Belgium.



The management of osteoarthritis (OA) remains a challenge. There is a need not only for safe and efficient treatments but also for accurate and reliable biomarkers that would help diagnosis and monitoring both disease activity and treatment efficacy. Curcumin is basically a spice that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In vitro studies suggest that curcumin could be beneficial for cartilage in OA. The aim of this exploratory, non-controlled clinical trial was to evaluate the effects of bio-optimized curcumin in knee OA patients on the serum levels of specific biomarkers of OA and on the evaluation of pain.


Twenty two patients with knee OA were asked to take 2x3 caps/day of bio-optimized curcumin (Flexofytol®) for 3 months. They were monitored after 7, 14, 28 and 84 days of treatment. Pain over the last 24 hours and global assessment of disease activity by the patient were evaluated using a visual analog scale (100 mm). The serum levels of Coll-2-1, Coll-2-1NO2, Fib3-1, Fib3-2, CRP, CTX-II and MPO were determined before and after 14 and 84 days of treatment.


The treatment with curcumin was globally well tolerated. It significantly reduced the serum level of Coll2-1 (p<0.002) and tended to decrease CRP. No other significant difference was observed with the other biomarkers. In addition, curcumin significantly reduced the global assessment of disease activity by the patient.


This study highlighted the potential effect of curcumin in knee OA patient. This effect was reflected by the variation of a cartilage specific biomarker, Coll2-1 that was rapidly affected by the treatment. These results are encouraging for the qualification of Coll2-1 as a biomarker for the evaluation of curcumin in OA treatment.


NCT01909037 at

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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