Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the cause of numerous gastroenterological consultations. Due to multifactorial pathogenesis, treatment of IBS is difficult. Even the management with new medications appears unsatisfactory. Recent reports on IBS therapy highlight the possible beneficial effect of curcumin. The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in IBS patients.

Materials and Methods

Our non-controlled study included 51 patients: 30 (58.8%) women and 21 (41.2%) men diagnosed with IBS based on Roman Criteria IV, 35 patients with diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D) variant and 16 with constipation-predominant (IBS-C) variant. The quality of life and severity of symptoms were assessed with the IBS Symptom Severity Score (IBS-SSS) and IBS Quality of Life Instrument (IBS-QoL) questionnaires in all patients at: 0, 4, and 12-week time points.


A statistically significantly lower IBS-SSS score was found after 4 and 12 weeks of using curcumin (p < 0.01), especially in the category of bloating and severity of abdominal pain. After 4 weeks of using curcumin, a reduction in the mean IBS-SSS score decreased from 279.7 to 202.2 points (p < 0.05). There was a significant increase in the overall score obtained with IBS-QoL questionnaire after the first 4 weeks of taking curcumin compared to baseline visit (41,9 vs. 53,4; p < 0.05). No side effects have been reported associated with the curcumin use.


In summary, curcumin is effective in reducing the IBS clinical symptoms and improving the patients’ quality of life. It also has a high safety profile.