2022 Volume 16 Issue 1 Pages 14-22
Accumulating evidence has been reported regarding the effect of curcumin as a dietary antiviral on patients with COVID-19; however, findings are controversial. Our systematic review aimed to evaluate the effects of curcumin in patients with COVID-19. Electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Central, and Google Scholar) were systematically searched to identify only randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that assessed curcumin in patients with COVID-19 from inception to September 23, 2021 relevant keywords. The Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials was used to evaluate the risk of bias. After a critical review of 1,098 search hits, only six RCTs were selected for discussion. A total of 480 patients were included, with 240 amongst the curcumin groups and 240 in the control group. The lymphocyte count was significantly higher in the curcumin group compared to the placebo group. Curcumin was found to decrease the number of T-helper 17 cells, downregulate T-helper-17 cell‐related factors, reduce levels of T-helper-17 cell‐related cytokines, yet increase the gene expression of Treg transcription factor forkhead box P3 (FOXP3), and decrease T-Box transcription factor 21 (TBX21). Our review revealed that curcumin might have a positive effect on relieving COVID-19 related inflammatory response due to its powerful immune‐modulatory effects on cytokines production, T-cell responses, and gene expression. These findings suggest that curcumin confers clinical benefits in patients with COVID-19. However, due to the limited number of the included studies, further high-quality studies are needed to establish the clinical efficacy of the curcumin.