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Curcumin
Overview
Found in the roots of the Curcuma longa plant and a member of the ginger family, turmeric has been used as a medicine, spice (curry) and yellow dye since 600 B.C.
The golden spice has long been used in both Ayurveda and Chinese medicines as an anti-inflammatory agent and used for conditions such as arthritis. It has been highly valued by those who practice Hatha Yoga, for its beneficial effects on ligaments. Throughout Asia, turmeric has been used for stomach problems, allergies, diarrhea, heartburn, wind, bloating, colic, flatulence and liver ailments.

For thousands of years Eastern medicine has used curcumin (the major component of turmeric) for a wide range of health benefits, but only in recent times has its biological action been understood. A wealth of scientific data shows curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant properties
Extensive research shows curcumin is effective in multiple ways, and this provides basis for many applications. But curcumin is extremely difficult to absorb, so it's important to get more of it into your bloodstream.


What is Curcumin ?
Curcumin is the yellow-orange pigment and the most important ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin is the most important active ingredient in turmeric, and makes up about 2-6% of the spice. While therapeutic properties of turmeric have been known for centuries, modern science has identified the curcuminoids (phenolic compounds found in turmeric) and provides a scientific basis for many clinical uses of standardized curcumin.
 
Composition of Turmeric:
Curcumin (curcuminoids) 2-6%
Volatile (essential) oils 3-7%
Fiber 2-7%
Mineral matter 3-7%
Protein 6-8%
Fat 5-10%
Moisture 6-13%
Carbohydrates 60-70%
 

Extensive research shows curcumin can benefit multiple targets in your body and provides scientific basis for its effectiveness in a wide variety of different body systems

Benefits / uses
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library of Medicine's PubMed MEDLINE database yields thousands of scientific articles about turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin which show:

 
arw curcumin reduces inflammation and edema
arw curcumin accelerates wound-healing
arw curcumin's role against cancer
arw curcumin's potential to reduce heart disease
arw arthritis
arw Crohn's and inflammatory bowel disease
arw irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis
arw neurological diseases
arw Alzheimer's disease
arw multiple sclerosis
arw diabetes type II
arw cataract formation
arw drug-induced toxicity in the heart, lung and kidney
arw Cystic Fibrosis
arw skin diseases: psoriasis, scleroderma and dermatitis
arw curcumin may reduce the progression of HIV
 

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
Safety evaluation studies show curcumin is well tolerated at very high doses without any adverse effects. For centuries, curcumin has been consumed as a dietary spice at doses up to 100 mg per day. Recent human clinical trials found no toxicity and no adverse side effects in curcumin when administered at doses of 8,000 milligrams per day for three months.

CAUTIONS: Use during chemotherapy should only be performed under the direct supervision of a qualified medical practitioner. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary. Curcumin should be stopped prior to scheduled surgery.

Reported adverse reactions have been limited to mild gastrointestinal distress, which may be minimized by consuming curcumin with food.

Research studies / References

arw MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) post-transcriptionally downregulates tumor suppressor Pdcd4 and stimulates invasion, intravasation and metastasis in colorectal cancer.
arw I A Asangani, S A K Rasheed, D A Nikolova, J H Leupold, N H Colburn, S Post, in Oncogene(2008)
arw Locked nucleic acid in situ hybridization analysis of miR-21 expression during colorectal cancer development.
arw Nobutake Yamamichi, Ryoichi Shimomura, Ken-ichi Inada, Kouhei Sakurai, Takeshi Haraguchi, Yuka Ozaki, et al. in Clinical Cancer Research(2009)arw
arw Curcumin inhibits lung cancer cell invasion and metastasis through the tumor suppressor HLJ1.
arw Huei-Wen Chen, Jen-Yi Lee, Ji-Ying Huang, Chi-Chung Wang, Wan-Jiun Chen, Sheng-Fang Su, et al. in Cancer Research(2008)
arw Altered expression of miR-21, miR-31, miR-143 and miR-145 is related to clinicopathologic features of colorectal cancer.
arw Slaby, M Svoboda, P Fabian, T Smerdova, D Knoflickova, M Bednarikova, et al. in Oncology(2007)
arw Curcumin inhibits invasion and metastasis in the human ovarian cancer cells SKOV3 by CXCL12-CXCR4 axis.
arw Mu XiaoLing, Zhao Jing, Xu Fang, Tang LiangDanin African Journal of Biotechnology(2010)
arw Chan MM, Fong D, Soprano KJ, Holmes WF, Heverling H. Inhibition of growth and sensiti- zation to cisplatin-mediated killing of ovarian cancer cells by polyphenolic chemopreventive agents. J Cell Physiol. 2003 Jan;194(1):63-70.
arw Navis I, Sriganth P, Premalatha B. Dietary curcumin with cisplatin administration modu- lates tumor marker indices in experimental fibrosarcoma. Pharmacological Research. 1999 Mar;39(3):175-79.
arw Ichiki K, Mitani N, Doki Y, Hara H, Misaki T, Saiki I. Regulation of activator protein-1 activity in the mediastinal lymph node metas- tasis of lung cancer. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2000;18(7):539-45.
arw Bharti AC, Donato N, Singh S, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) down-regu- lates the constitutive activation of nuclear fac- tor-kappa B and IkappaBalpha kinase in human multiple myeloma cells, leading to suppression of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Blood. 2003 Feb;101(3):1053-62.
arw Lin JK, Chen YC, Huang YT, Lin-Shiau SY. Suppression of protein kinase C and nuclear oncogene expression as possible molecular mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention by apigenin and curcumin. J Cell Biochem Suppl. 1997;28-29:39-48.
arw Cheng AL, Hsu Ch, Lin JK, et al. Phase I clini- cal trial of curcumin, a chemopreventive agent, in patients with high-risk or pre-malig- nant lesions. Anticancer Res. Jul-Aug 2001;21(4B):2895-2900.
arw Miyoshi N, Nakamura Y, Ueda Y, et al. Dietary ginger constituents, galanals A and B, are potent apoptosis inducers in Human T lymphoma Jurkat cells. Cancer Lett. 2003 Sep 25;199(2):113-9.
arw Chan WH, Wu CC, Yu JS. Curcumin inhibits UV-induced oxidative stress and apoptotic biochemical changes in human epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells. J Cell Biochem. Oct 2003;90(2):327-38.
arw Menon LG, Kuttan R, Kuttan G. Antimeta- static activity of curcumin and catechin. Cancer Lett 1999 Jul 1;141(1-2):159-65.
arw Aggarwal BB, Kumar A, Bharti AC. Anticancer potential of curcumin: preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. Jan-Feb 2003;23(1A):363-98.
arw Ikezaki S, Nishikawa A, Furukawa F, et al. Chemopreventive effects of curcumin on glandular stomach carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl-N-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine and sodium chloride in rats. Anticancer Res. 2001 Sep-Oct;21(5):3407-11.
arw Dorai T, Cao YC, Dorai B, Buttyan R, Katz AE. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. III. Curcumin inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits angiogenesis of LNCaP prostate can- cer cells in vivo. Prostate. 2001 Jun 1;47(4):293-303.
arw Nakamura K, Yasunaga Y, Segawa T, et al. Curcumin down-regulates AR gene expres- sion and activation in prostate cancer cell lines. Int J Oncol. 2002 Oct;21(4):825-30.
arw Hour TC, Chen J, Huang CY, Guan JY, Lu SH, Pu YS. Curcumin enhances cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents in prostate can- cer cells by inducing p21(WAF1/CIP1) and C/EBPbeta expressions and suppressing NF- kappaB activation. Prostate. 2002 May 15;51(3):211-8.
arw Gururaj AE, Belakavadi M, Venkatesh DA, Marme D, Salimath BP. Molecular mecha- nisms of anti-angiogenic effect of curcumin. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Oct 4;297(4):934-42.
arw Cheng PY, Wang M, Morgan ET. Rapid transcriptional suppression of rat Cyto- chrome P450 genes by endotoxin treatment and its inhibition by curcumin. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2003 Oct 13 [Epub ahead of print].
arw Ray SN, Chattopadhyay N, Mitra A, Siddiqi M, Chatterjee A. Curcumin exhibits anti- metastatic properties by modulating inte- grin receptors, collagenase activity, and expression of Nm23 and E-cadherin. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2003;22(1):49-58.
arw Reddy BS, Rao CV. Novel approaches for colon cancer prevention by cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 2002;21(2):155-64.
arw Somasundaram S, Edmund NA, Moore DT, Small GW, Shi YY, Orlowski RZ. Dietary curcumin inhibits chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in models of human breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2002 Jul 1;62(13):3868-75.
arw Imaida K, Tamano S, Kato K, et al. Lack of chemopreventive effects of lycopene and curcumin on experimental rat prostate car cinogenesis. Carcinogenesis. 2001 Mar;22(3):467-72.
arw Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG. Evalua- tion of anti-inflammatory property of cur- cumin in patients with postoperative inflam mation. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986 Dec;24(12):651-4.
arw Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, Gandage SG, Patwardhan B. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double- blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol. 1991 May-Jun;33(1-2):91-5.
arw Arora RB, Basu N, Kapoor V, Jain AP. Anti-inflammatory studies on Curcuma- longa (turmeric). Ind J Med Res 1971 Aug;59(8):1289-95.
arw Deodhar SD, Sethi R, Srimal RC. Preliminary studies on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (diferuloyl methane). Ind J Med Res. 1980 Apr;71:632-4.
arw Chan MM, Ho CT, Huang HI. Effects of three dietary phytochemicals from tea, rose- mary and turmeric on inflammation-induced nitrate production. Cancer Lett. 1995 Sep 4;96(1):23-9.
arw Ramsewak RS, DeWitt DL, Nair MG. Cytotoxicity, antioxidant and anti-inflamma- tory activities of curcumins I-III from Curcumalonga. Phytomedicine. Jul 2000;7(4):303-8.
arw Mesa MD, Aguilera CM, Ramirez-Tortosa CL, et al. Oral administration of a turmeric extract inhibits erythrocyte and liver micro- some membrane oxidation in rabbits fed with an atherogenic diet. Nutrition. Sep 2003;19(9):800-04.
arw Quiles JL, Aguilera C, Mesa MD, Ramirez- Tortosa MC, Baro L, Gil A. An ethanolic- aqueous extract of Curcuma longa decreases the susceptibility of liver microsomes and mitochondria to lipid peroxidation in atherosclerotic rabbits. Biofactors. 1998;8(1- 2):51-7.
arw Dikshit M, Rastogi L, Shukla R, Srimal RC. Prevention of ischaemia-induced biochemical changes by curcumin & quinidine in the cat heart. Indian J Med Res. Jan 1995;101:31-5.
arw Ramirez-Tortosa MC, Mesa MD, Aguilera MC, et al. Oral administration of a turmeric extract inhibits LDL oxidation and has hypocholesterolemic effects in rabbits with experimental atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis. Dec 1999;147(2):371-8
arw Quiles JL, Mesa MD, Ramirez-Tortosa CL, et al. Curcuma longa extract supplementa- tion reduces oxidative stress and attenuates aortic fatty acid streak development in rab- bits. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. Jul 2002 Jul 1;22(7):1225-31.
arw Suryanarayana P, Krishnaswamy K, Reddy GB. Effects of curcumin on galactose-induced cataractogenesis in rats. Mol Vis. 2003 Jun 9;9:223-30.
arw Galvano F, Piva A, Ritieni A, Galvano G. Dietary strategies to counteract the effects of mycotoxins: a review. J Food Prot. Jan 2001;64(1)120-31.
arw Koide T, Nose M, Ogihara Y, Yabu Y, Ohta N. Leishmanicidal effects of curcumin in vitro. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Jan;25(1):131-3.
arw Saleheen D, Ali SA, Ashfaq K, Siddiqui AA, Agha A, Yasinzai MM. Latent activity of cur- cumin against leishmaniasis in vitro. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Mar;25(3):386-9.
arw Shishu, Singla AK, Kaur IP. Inhibitory effect of curcumin and its natural analogues on geneto toxicity of heterocyclic amines from cooked food. Indian J Exp Biol. Dec 2002 Dec;40(12):1365-72.
arw Phan TT, See P, Lee ST, Chan SY. Protective effects of curcumin against oxidative damage on skin cells in vitro: its implication for wound healing. J Trauma. 2001 Nov;51(5):927-31.
arw Natarajan C, Bright JJ. Curcumin inhibits experimental allergic encephalomyelitis by blocking signaling through janus kinase- STAT pathway in T lymphocytes IL-12. J Immunol. 2002;168(12):6506-13.
arw Arun N, Nalini N. Efficacy of turmeric on blood sugar and polyol pathway in diabetic albino rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2002;57(1):41-52.
arw Lim GP, Chu T, Yang F, Beech W, Frautschy SA, Cole GM. The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse. J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 1;21(21):8370-7.
arw Kim DS, Park SY, Kim JK. Curcuminoids from Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae) that protect PC12 rat pheochromocytoma and normal human umbilical vein endothe- lial cells from beta(1-42) insult. Neurosci Lett. Apr 2001;303(1):57-61.
arw Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, et al.
arw Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytotherapy Res 1999;13:318–22.
arw White EL, Ross LJ, Schmid SM, Kelloff GJ, Stelle VE, Hill DL. Screening of potential cancer preventing chemicals for induction of glutathionine in rat liver cells. Oncol Rep. 1998 Mar-Apr;5(2):507-12.
arw Inano H, Makota O. Prevention of radia tion-induced mammary tumors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Jan 1;52(1):212-23.
arw Inano H, Onoda M. Radioprotective action of curcumin extracted from Curcuma longa LINN: inhibitory effect on formation of uri- nary 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine, tumoro genesis, but not mortality, induced by gamma-ray irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Jul 1;53(3):735-43.
arw Ghoneim AI, Abdel-Naim AB, Khalifa AE, El-Denshary ES. Protective effects of cur cumin against ischaemis-reperfusion insult in rat forebrain. Pharmacol Res. Sep 2002;46(3):273-9.
arw Sreejayan, Rao MN. Curcuminoids as potent inhibitors of lipid peroxidation. J Indian Physiol Pharmacol. Dec 1994;46(12):1013-6.
arw Soni KB, Kuttan R. Effects of curcumin administration on serum peroxides and cholesterol levels in human volunteers. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. Oct 1992;36(4):273-5.
arw Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS. Influence of piper- ine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6.
arw Jayaraman KS. US patent office withdraws patent on Indian herb. Nature. 1997 Sep 4;389(6646):6.