A presurgical study of curcumin combined with anthocyanin supplements in patients with colorectal adenomatous polyps

Irene Maria Briata, Laura Paleari, Mariangela Rutigliani, Marilena Petrera, Silvia Caviglia, Paola Romagnoli, Mauro Dalla Libera, Massimo Oppezzi, Matteo Puntoni, Giacomo Siri, Matteo Lazzeroni, Lynne Howells, Raj Singh, Karen Brown, Andrea Decensi

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15 Scopus citations


Adenomatous polyps are precancerous lesions associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Curcumin and anthocyanins have shown promising CRC-preventive activity in pre-clinical and epidemiological studies. The objective of this window-of-opportunity, proof-of principle trial was to evaluate the effect of curcumin combined with anthocyanin supplements on tissue biomarkers of colorectal adenomatous polyps. Eligible patients received either anthocyanin and curcumin supplementation or related matching placebo for 4–6 weeks before polyp removal. Adeno-matous polyps and adjacent tissue biopsies were collected at baseline and after supplementation for immunohistochemical assessment of β-catenin, NF-kappa B (NF-κB), Ki-67, P53, and dysplasia. No differences were observed in baseline biomarker expression between normal and dysplastic tissues. The combination of anthocyanins and curcumin resulted in a significant borderline reduction of NF-κB immunohistochemistry (IHC) expression in adenoma tissue (geometric mean ratio (GMR): 0.72; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51–1.00; p-value: 0.05) and a trend to a reduction of Ki-67 (GMR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.50–1.08; p-value: 0.11). No significant modulation of biomarkers in normal adjacent mucosa was observed. We concluded that the combined supplementation of anthocyanins and curcumin seems to lead to a potentially favorable modulation of tissue biomarkers of inflammation and proliferation in colon adenomas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11024
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenomatous polyps
  • Anthocyanins
  • Curcumin
  • Dietary supplement
  • Ki-67 antigen
  • NF-kappa B
  • Prevention


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