Recently, Prof. Shomron Ben-Horin, Director of Sheba’s Institute of Gastroenterology, and Mr. Nir Salomon, Founder and Director of Sheba’s Integrative Gastroenterology Unit, presented a seminal study at the Crohn’s and Colitis Congress in Denver, Colorado, giving hope to ulcerative colitis (UC) patients for whom conventional treatment is no longer a viable option.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a gastrointestinal condition that causes inflammation and ulceration of the large intestine (colon). The disease, which affects over 3 million people worldwide, causes ulcers in the large intestine and rectum. Over time, the inflammation can also damage the GI tract. Ulcerative colitis, along with Crohn’s disease, is considered an irritable bowel disease (IBD). It is usually treated with a combination of pharmaceutical drugs that focus on calming the disease’s symptoms and preventing flare-ups.

“Pharmacological treatments for IBD have become exceedingly costly, limiting patient access to treatments they need with ensuing increased morbidity,” Mr. Salomon explained. “The approval of advanced drug therapies for UC is also a lengthy process, to the detriment of patients who need additional treatment options.”

A recent Sheba study tracked the effect of a compound of curcumin and Qing Dai, a pigment extract used traditionally by ancient Chinese physicians, on UC patients. The treatment, called CurQD, demonstrated effectiveness in an initial trial, with a clinical response noted in seventy percent of cases. A second, placebo-controlled trial followed, and results indicated an 86% clinical response with a 50% clinical remission rate.

Prof. Ben-Horin and Mr. Salomon believe that the results of their ongoing clinical trial will revolutionize the treatment of UC patients across the globe. “The CurQD combination has been used in our everyday clinical practice for over six years, and this latest study validates our clinical experience by demonstrating the effectiveness of this plant-based, affordable oral supplement. We believe this nutraceutical approach can be adopted by medical centers worldwide, enabling patients everywhere to get the care they need,” Prof Ben-Horin concluded.

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