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Phytother Res. 2019 May;33(5):1318-1329. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6326. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Effects of turmeric and curcumin on oral mucositis: A systematic review.

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Laboratory of Oral Histopathology, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil.
Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Applied Research on Clinical Practice in Oncology, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil.
Brazilian Centre for Evidence-Based Research, Department of Dentistry, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of turmeric and curcumin in the management of oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing chemo and/or radiotherapy. The systematic review was reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses. The search was performed in the following database: Cochrane Library, LILACS, LIVIVO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. A gray literature search was undertaken using Google Scholar, Open Grey, and ProQuest. The methodology of included studies was evaluated by the Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument. After a two-step selection process, four randomized and one nonrandomized clinical trials were included in the analysis. Two studies were categorized as low and three as moderate risk of bias. Turmeric/curcumin was applied topically as a gel or as a mouthwash. Patients treated with turmeric/curcumin experienced reduced grade of mucositis, pain, erythema intensity, and ulcerative area. Current evidence suggests that topical application of turmeric or curcumin is effective in controlling signs and symptoms of oral mucositis. Thus, further investigation is required to confirm the promising effect of turmeric and curcumin in oral inflammatory lesions.


cancer; chemotherapy; curcumin; mucositis; radiotherapy; systematic review; turmeric


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