What is curcumin?
What does curcumin do?
How does curcumin work?
Does curcumin work against arthritis?
Are there any human clinical trials done with curcumin?
Has any toxicity been associated with curcumin?
Q: What is curcumin?
Curcumin is a component of an Indian spice, turmeric. It is estimated that 100 grams of turmeric contain 3-5 grams curcumin. Curcumin gives a yellow color to turmeric, also present in curry powder. Chemically, curcumin is called diferuloylmethane. Curcumin is a patented extract of turmeric, which is part of the ginger family and has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is a common household remedy in India, and the active constituent is known as curcumin.
Q: What does curcumin do?
The biological activity of curcumin has been demonstrated to act against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, arthritis, etc.
Q: How does curcumin work?
Turmeric has been described in Ayurveda literature as an agent that can suppress inflammation. Extensive research conducted during last 50 years has revealed that the anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric is due to curcumin. Curcumin can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 and 5-lipooxygenase; and other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation. Curcumin has also been shown to work through numerous other mechanisms. More than 700 genes have been shown to be modulated by curcumin.
Q: Does curcumin work against arthritis?
Arthritis is a pro-inflammatory disease. All current drugs approved for arthritis have anti-inflammatory activity. Anti-TNF therapy has been approved for this disease. Curcumin has been shown to both suppress the TNF production as well as block the action of TNF.
Q: Are there any human clinical trials done with curcumin?
There have been at least ten different clinical trials performed with curcumin in patients with different diseases. These are mostly pilot studies that are "proof of concept" type. More than a dozen trials are now in progress in the United States and other countries.
Q: Has any toxicity been associated with curcumin?
According to a Phase I study, curcumin was found to be safe in human subjects even when consumed up to 8 grams per day for three months.