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Turmeric in the management of oral submucous fibrosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Dental Institute, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
2 Department of General Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India
3 Scientist F, NICPR, National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Ex-Junior Research Fellow, Faculty of Dentistry, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Arpita Rai,
Dental Institute, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi - 834 009, Jharkhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_95_20

Turmeric exhibits a big promise as a therapeutic agent in the management of oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF). The primary aim of our study is to synthesize the evidence of the use of turmeric/curcumin in the management of OSMF. The secondary goal of this study is to assess the limitations of previous studies to identify gaps in evidence for future research and give an evidence-based recommendation regarding the usage of turmeric/curcumin for OSMF patients and outline the direction of research. A comprehensive search of PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library database, Google Scholar, clinical trial registries, and hand searching was conducted from inception until December 2018. This systematic review was conducted according to the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement (guidelines). In this review, 11 articles were selected for qualitative analysis and 3 out of 11 were selected for meta-analysis. Of these 11 studies, involving 428 patients, 7 were randomized control trials (RCTs), 1 was a nonrandomized trial, and 3 were observational studies. Turmeric was found to be effective in reducing signs and symptoms of OSMF in all 11 studies. All the studies included in this review have reported improvement in mouth opening after treatment with turmeric formulations. This could also be concluded from the meta-analysis of three RCTs. Similar improvement in tongue protrusion, burning sensation, and cheek flexibility has been reported. The lack of reliable evidence for the effectiveness of turmeric for the management of OSMF is illustrated by the paucity and poor methodological quality of studies retrieved for this review. We recommend that RCTs are needed using larger sample size with longer duration follow-up with special attention to the recurrence of signs and symptoms.

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