Role of Curcumin in Alleviating Symptomatic Oral Lichen Planus: A Systematic Review ZE01-ZE06
No. 162, Poonamalle High Road, Vellapanchavadi, Chennai-600077, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Oral Lichen Planus (OLP) is a chronic inflammatory, immune mediated disease that affects the oral mucosa and skin. Though conventional therapies have aimed to alleviate the signs and symptoms of OLP, they have side effects. To combat this, trend is towards natural products such as curcumin which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Aim: This systematic review aimed to evaluate the existing literature on the role of curcumin in the alleviation of pain, burning sensation, erythema and ulceration in OLP patients.
Materials and Methods: Articles on curcumin in the treatment of oral lichen planus were extensively searched in PubMed, Google scholar, Science direct, Cochrane database using key terms “turmeric extracts”, “curcuma longa”, “curcumin”, “curcuminoids”, “oral lichen planus,” “erosive oral lichen planus” with no year restrictions. Screening was based on title and abstract with preset inclusion and exclusion criteria, and full text articles were procured. Included studies were 7 randomised clinical trial, 2 pilot clinical trial, 3 comparative studies. Primary outcome measure was reduction in pain symptoms and clinical improvement, secondary outcome was to achieve complete healing without recurrence.
Results: Publications identified through electronic search revealed 1499 articles, from which twelve studies met inclusion criteria. This systematic review comprised 315 OLP patients, wherein four studies revealed that topical curcumin had no statistically significant difference when compared to corticosteroids in treating pain, burning sensation, erythema and ulceration. In three clinical trials compared with placebo, one study showed statistical significance with increased oral dosage (6000 mg) of curcumin, two were not significant due to its reduced oral dosage (2000 mg). Two studies showed that curcumin was effective with increased concentration. Three studies with no controls were statistically significant in reducing burning sensation and clinical appearance of OLP.
Conclusion: Though curcumin exhibited promising effects in alleviating symptomatic OLP, majority of studies were evaluated in very small sample size, hence there is insufficient evidence to draw definitive conclusions. We recommend novel curcumin formulations to increase their bioavailability and to initiate high quality Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT).