Friday, September 9, 2011

Phytochemicals: 15 Health Benefits of Currcumin

Turmeric, principal curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, native to tropical South Asia, according to "Effects of different drying methods on the antioxidant properties of leaves and tea of ginger species" by E.W.C. Chan, Y.Y. Lim, S.K. Wong, K.K. Lim, S.P. Tan, F.S. Lianto and M.Y. Yong, posted in Science Direct. It has been used in traditional herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent and to treat gastrointestinal symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. Curcumin is a phytochemical found abundant in the plant. In acidic solutions (pH <7.4) it turns yellow, whereas in basic (pH > 8.6) solutions it turns bright red.

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1. Breast cancer
In a study of `Curcumin decreases survival of Hep3B liver and MCF-7 breast cancer cells: the role of HIF.` by Ströfer M, Jelkmann W, Depping R. (Source from Department of Physiology, Center for Structural and Cell Biology in Medicine, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany. posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that effects of curcumin on cell growth and survival factor expression suggest its potential benefit in the treatment of cancer without a direct radiosensitizing influence of curcumin on these cells.

2. Cancers and Alzheimer's disease and Anti-inflammatory agent
a. Cancers
According to the study of `Induction of apoptosis by curcumin and its implications for cancer therapy.` by Karunagaran D, Rashmi R, Kumar TR. (Cancer Biology Laboratory, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695 014,, posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, reseachers found that this review describes the mechanisms of curcumin-induced apoptosis currently known, and suggests several potential strategies that include down-regulation of antiapoptotic proteins by antisense oligonucleotides, use of proapoptotic peptides and combination therapy, and other novel approaches against chemoresistant tumors. Several factors including pharmacological safety, scope for improvement of structure and function of curcumin and its ability to attack multiple targets are in favor of curcumin being developed as a drug for prevention and therapy of various cancers.
In an article of `Don't Go Easy on Turmeric: It Prevents and Cures Cancer` by By VIJI SUNDARAM, India-West Staff Reporter(WEST PUBLICATIONS(Copyright India-West, July 15, 2005,, receptor wrote that Dr. Bharat Aggarwal, who headed the 12-member team of researchers at UT's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, told India-West in a telephone interview earlier this week that his clinical research has made available not only "the master switch to turn off cancer, but also a cure for it. It was already known that curcumin can prevent cancer," Aggarwal said. "Now it can also be used to cure cancer." And, he added: "We are providing evidence that curcumin can work on at least one dozen cancers." Because of turmeric's extensive use in foods in India and Pakistan, the incidence of cancer, especially breast, colon, prostate and lung, is a lot less in those countries, Aggarwal said. And because south Indians use turmeric more widely than north Indians, "the prevalence of cancer is less among them than among north Indians," he said.

2. Alzheimer's disease
According to Aggarwal, the team determined that curcumin is more effective in inhibiting formation of the protein fragments than many other drugs being tested to treat Alzheimer's. The prevalence of the disease among older adults in India is 4.4 times less than in the U.S., suggesting that many Indians might be benefiting from having turmeric as a dietary staple.
In other study of `NSAID and antioxidant prevention of Alzheimer's disease: lessons from in vitro and animal models.`by Cole GM, Morihara T, Lim GP, Yang F, Begum A, Frautschy SA. (Source from Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Veterans Administration Medical Center, North Hills, CA 91343, USA. posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, reseachers found that the unconventional NSAID/antioxidant curcumin was effective, lowering oxidative damage, cognitive deficits, synaptic marker loss, and amyloid deposition. Curcumin proved to be immunomodulatory, simultaneously inhibiting cytokine and microglial activation indices related to neurotoxicity, but increasing an index of phagocytosis. Curcumin directly targeted Abeta and was also effective in other models, warranting further preclinical and clinical exploration.

3. Anti-inflammatory agent
According to the study of evaluation of anti-inflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. by Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG., poated in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers wrote that In this model of postoperative inflammation, the anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) was investigated in comparison with phenylbutazone and placebo. Phenylbutazone and curcumin produced a better anti-inflammatory response than placebo.

4. Antioxidants
In a study of `Protective Role of Curcumin Against Oxidative Stress,Immunosuppressive and Cytotoxic Effects of Lead Exposure` by Mahmoud El-sherbiny, Azza Araffa, Mona Mantawy and Hany M. Hassan (Therapeutic Chemistry Department, National Research Centre - Dokki, Giza, Egypt. Immunology Department, Animal Reproduction Research Institute (ARRI), Giza, Egypt), posted in World Applied Sciences Journal 12 (10): 1832-1838, 2011, researchers found that
ground, curcumin's benefits on tumorigenesis are thought to be mediated by its antiinflammatory activity; however, these effects have not been well characterized in a mouse model of colon cancer. Briefly, curcumin is efficacious for chronic nonbacterial prostatitis in rats and the action mechanism may be associated with its decreasing effect on the proinflammatory cytokines IL-8 and TNF-alpha in the blood and tissues. Curcumin has protective effect on DNA of pulmonary cells. There was direct evidence for an involvement of curcumin in reducing arsenic and lead induced oxidative stress in Swiss albino mice by virtue of its antioxidant potential and trapping of free radicals. The current investigation concluded that curcumin has protective role against cytotoxic, immunosuppressive , oxidative and immunosuppressive profile that perform due to lead acetate exposure.

5. Amyloidosis
In a study of `Curcumin inhibits formation of amyloid beta oligomers and fibrils, binds plaques, and reduces amyloid in vivo.`by Yang F, Lim GP, Begum AN, Ubeda OJ, Simmons MR, Ambegaokar SS, Chen PP, Kayed R, Glabe CG, Frautschy SA, Cole GM. (Source from Department of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that curcumin labeled plaques and reduced amyloid levels and plaque burden. Hence, curcumin directly binds small beta-amyloid species to block aggregation and fibril formation in vitro and in vivo. These data suggest that low dose curcumin effectively disaggregates Abeta as well as prevents fibril and oligomer formation, supporting the rationale for curcumin use in clinical trials preventing or treating AD.

6. Chronic anterior uveitis
In a study of `Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis.`by Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, Agrawal PK, Prasad R, Kumar P, Srimal RC. (Source from Department of Ophthalmology, K.G. Medical College, Lucknow, India.) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that the efficacy of curcumin and recurrences following treatment are comparable to corticosteroid therapy which is presently the only available standard treatment for this disease. The lack of side effects with curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids. A double blind multi-centric clinical trial with this drug in CAU is highly desirable to further validate the results of the present study.

7. Improve Learning and Memory Ability
According to the researcher of `Curcumin improves learning and memory ability and its neuroprotective mechanism in mice.`by Pan R, Qiu S, Lu DX, Dong J. (Source from Department of Orthopedics, the First Affiliated Hospital, Medical College of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the result of the study indicated that curcumin significantly improved the memory ability of AD mice in the step-through test, as indicated by the reduced number of step-through errors (P < 0.05) and prolonged step-through latency (P < 0.05). Curcumin also attenuated the neuropathological changes in the hippocampus and inhibited apoptosis accompanied by an increase in Bcl-2 level (P < 0.05), but the activity of Bax did not change (P > 0.05). AlCl(3) significantly reduced the viability of PC12 cells (P < 0.01). Curcumin increased cell viability in the presence of AlCl(3) (P < 0.01). The rate of apoptosis decreased significantly in the curcumin group (P < 0.05) when measured by flow cytometric analysis. Curcumin protected cells by increasing Bcl-2 level (P < 0.05), but the level of Bax did not change (P > 0.05)., researchers conclude that this study demonstrates that curcumin improves the memory ability of AD mice and inhibits apoptosis in cultured PC12 cells induced by AlCl(3). Its mechanism may involve enhancing the level of Bcl-2.

8. Gall-bladder function
In a study of `The effect of curcumin and placebo on human gall-bladder function: an ultrasound study.`by Rasyid A, Lelo A. ( from Source Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia.) posted in posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that The fasting gall-bladder volumes of 15.74 +/- 4.29 mL on curcumin and 15.98 +/- 4.08 mL on placebo were similar (P > 0.20). The gall-bladder volume was reduced within the period after curcumin administration. The percentage of gall-bladder volume reduction at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 h after 20 mg curcumin administration were 11.8 +/- 6.9, 16.8 +/- 7.4, 22.0 +/- 8.5 and 29. 3 +/- 8.3%, respectively, which was statistically significant compared to placebo.

9. Eicosanoidand Blood Platelets
In a study of `Curcumin, a major component of food spice turmeric (Curcuma longa) inhibits aggregation and alters eicosanoid metabolism in human blood platelets.`by Srivastava KC, Bordia A, Verma SK. (Source from Department of Environmental Medicine, Odense University Denmark.) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that this compound inhibited thromboxane B2 (TXB2) production from exogenous [14C] arachidonate in washed platelets with a concomitant increase in the formation of 12-lipoxygenase products. Moreover, curcumin inhibited the incorporation of [14C]AA into platelet phospholipids and inhibited the deacylation of AA-labelled phospholipids (liberation of free AA) on stimulation with calcium ionophore A23187. Curcumin's anti-inflammatory property may, in part, be explained by its effects on eicosanoid biosynthesis.

10. Cellular Processing
According to the research of `Evidence against the rescue of defective DeltaF508-CFTR cellular processing by curcumin in cell culture and mouse models.`by Song Y, Sonawane ND, Salinas D, Qian L, Pedemonte N, Galietta LJ, Verkman AS. (Source from Department of Medicine and Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA. Copyright 2004 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that assay of serum curcumin by ethyl acetate extraction followed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry indicated a maximum serum concentration of 60 nm, well below that of 5-15 microm, where cellular effects by sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum calcium pump inhibition are proposed to occur. Our results do not support further evaluation of curcumin for cystic fibrosis therapy.

11. Chemopreventative blocking agents

In a study of Effect of the beta-diketones diferuloylmethane (curcumin) and dibenzoylmethane on rat mammary DNA adducts and tumors induced by 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene.
Singletary K, MacDonald C, Iovinelli M, Fisher C, Wallig M. by (Source from Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana 61801, USA.)
posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, reseachers found that Female rats provided diets supplemented with dibenzoylmethane at 0.1, 0.5 and 1.0% for 14 days prior to dosing with DMBA exhibited a significant decrease in mammary tumor development, compared with controls. However, tumor development for animals fed diets containing 1.0% curcumin was not different from that of controls. Therefore, dibenzoylmethane, and possibly other structurally-related beta-diketones, warrant examination as breast cancer chemopreventative blocking agents.

12. Lymphomas/Leukemias
In a study of `Effect of dietary curcumin and dibenzoylmethane on formation of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced mammary tumors and lymphomas/leukemias in Sencar mice.`by Huang MT, Lou YR, Xie JG, Ma W, Lu YP, Yen P, Zhu BT, Newmark H, Ho CT. (Source from Laboratory for Cancer Research, College of Pharmacy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway 08854-8020, USA.) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that the incidence of lymphomas/leukemias was completely inhibited by 1% DBM diet. In contrast, feeding 2% curcumin diet had little or no effect on the incidence of mammary tumors, and the incidence of lymphomas/leukemias was reduced by 53%.

13. Angiogenesis Inhibitor
According to the study of `Curcumin as an inhibitor of angiogenesis.`by Bhandarkar SS, Arbiser JL.(Source from Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. posted in PubMed, researchers indicated that Curcumin shows a dose-dependent inhibition on tumor necrosis factor, a versatile cytokine, which has its effect on angiogenesis through the signal transduction pathways, expression of proangiogenic factors, and cell adhesion molecules. Curcumin's effect on the overall process of angiogenesis compounds its enormous potential as an antiangiogenic drug.

14. Perisinusoidal Cells (Hepatic Stellate Cell (HSC))
In a study of `De novo synthesis of glutathione is a prerequisite for curcumin to inhibit hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation.`by Zheng S, Yumei F, Chen A. (Source from Department of Pharmacology, Nanjing Medical University, China.) posted in PubMed, researchers found that
De novo synthesis of GSH is a prerequisite for curcumin to inhibit HSC activation. These results provide novel insights into the mechanisms of curcumin as an antifibrogenic candidate in the prevention and treatment of hepatic fibrosis.

15. Liver Disease
According to the study of `Curcumin prevents alcohol-induced liver disease in rats by inhibiting the expression of NF-kappa B-dependent genes.`by Nanji AA, Jokelainen K, Tipoe GL, Rahemtulla A, Thomas P, Dannenberg AJ. (Source from Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4283, USA. posed in PubMed, researchers found that
Treatment with curcumin prevented both the pathological and biochemical changes induced by alcohol. Because endotoxin and the Kupffer cell are implicated in the pathogenesis of ALD, we investigated whether curcumin suppressed the stimulatory effects of endotoxin in isolated Kupffer cells. Curcumin blocked endotoxin-mediated activation of NF-kappaB and suppressed the expression of cytokines, chemokines, COX-2, and iNOS in Kupffer cells. Thus curcumin prevents experimental ALD, in part by suppressing induction of NF-kappaB-dependent genes.

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