Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Popular Alternative Therapy For Psoriasis Performs No Better Than Placebo

Date:
March 3, 2008
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Anecdotal evidence touting the healing power of the Indian spice turmeric for psoriasis received a setback in a prospective study published in a dermatology journal stating that the low response rate of patients who ingested the active ingredient of the exotic spice was probably a result of the placebo effect.

Anecdotal evidence touting the healing power of the Indian spice turmeric for psoriasis received a setback in a prospective study published recently by a leading dermatology journal stating that the low response rate of patients who ingested the active ingredient of the exotic spice was probably a result of the placebo effect.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that despite strong scientific evidence in the laboratory demonstrating the ability of curcumin (the active ingredient in the spice turmeric) to inhibit a critical pathway of psoriasis, the positive response in patients was so low that scientists suggest the placebo effect or the disease's natural remission might be the reason.

"Alternative and complementary websites and newspapers publish anecdotal reports that the Indian spice has been successfully used to treat psoriasis," says Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, of The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "However, spontaneous improvements in psoriasis are common, and based on our study, until larger, placebo-controlled trials are conducted, oral curcumin should not be recommended for the treatment of psoriasis given lack of proven efficacy."

But the researchers do not discount entirely the potential of curmumin as a treatment for psoriasis.

They recognize that current traditional pharmacologic approaches in the treatment of psoriasis are costly and have their limitations, including the risk of infections and possibly malignancies with long-term use resulting in many patients with the disease unable to achieve effective long-term control. Turning to complementary and alternative therapies is understandable, they say. In fact, of the estimated 7 million diagnosed with psoriasis, it is estimated that 51% use complementary and alternative medicine therapies to treat their skin.

The excellent responses that were observed in two of the 12 patients in the study suggest that curcumin may have promise for a small subset of patients with psoriasis. Large, placebo-controlled trials are necessary to definitively prove or disprove oral curcumin as a potential therapeutic agent for psoriasis. "What is needed is scientific data to assess the safety and efficacy of these treatments so that we may more rationally inform patients of their treatment options," says Gelfand.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Popular Alternative Therapy For Psoriasis Performs No Better Than Placebo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229110712.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2008, March 3). Popular Alternative Therapy For Psoriasis Performs No Better Than Placebo. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229110712.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Popular Alternative Therapy For Psoriasis Performs No Better Than Placebo." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229110712.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins