Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the significant causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, which could develop and progress to end-stage renal disease. Increased inflammation and reduced antioxidant capacity commonly occur in CKD and hemodialysis patients. Curcumin is a natural bioactive compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This systematic review was undertaken with the main aim of assessing the effects of curcumin/turmeric supplementation on renal diseases based on clinical trials. A comprehensive search was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar from inception up to April 6, 2020 to identify clinical trials assessing the effects of curcumin or turmeric alone, or in combination with other herbs or nutrients on renal diseases. Twelve studies met the eligibility criteria. These randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comprised 631 patients with either chronic kidney diseases (CKD), hemodialysis, diabetic proteinuria and nephropathy, and lupus nephritis. Curcumin/turmeric supplementation had favorable effects on renal diseases, particularly in terms of inflammation and oxidative stress. However, with the exception for proteinuria, their impact on clinical parameters, such as blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and serum albumin, was weak and not significant. No serious adverse effects were reported following curcumin/turmeric supplementation. Within the limitations of this review, it can be concluded that curcumin/turmeric supplementation might have some beneficial effects on inflammatory and oxidative stress parameters of patients but no considerable positive impact on clinical outcomes of kidney diseases, apart from proteinuria.
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