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.

Related Articles


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 February 1, 2015 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 February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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