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      Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa).

      Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)

      Plant Structures, Phytotherapy, Humans, methods, Homeopathy, pharmacology, adverse effects, Curcumin, Antineoplastic Agents, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal

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          Abstract

          Tumeric is a spice that comes from the root Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family, Zingaberaceae. In Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), tumeric has been used for its medicinal properties for various indications and through different routes of administration, including topically, orally, and by inhalation. Curcuminoids are components of tumeric, which include mainly curcumin (diferuloyl methane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcmin. The goal of this systematic review of the literature was to summarize the literature on the safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin. A search of the computerized database MEDLINE (1966 to January 2002), a manual search of bibliographies of papers identified through MEDLINE, and an Internet search using multiple search engines for references on this topic was conducted. The PDR for Herbal Medicines, and four textbooks on herbal medicine and their bibliographies were also searched. A large number of studies on curcumin were identified. These included studies on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties of curcuminoids. Studies on the toxicity and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin have included in vitro, animal, and human studies. A phase 1 human trial with 25 subjects using up to 8000 mg of curcumin per day for 3 months found no toxicity from curcumin. Five other human trials using 1125-2500 mg of curcumin per day have also found it to be safe. These human studies have found some evidence of anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin. The laboratory studies have identified a number of different molecules involved in inflammation that are inhibited by curcumin including phospholipase, lipooxygenase, cyclooxygenase 2, leukotrienes, thromboxane, prostaglandins, nitric oxide, collagenase, elastase, hyaluronidase, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), interferon-inducible protein, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and interleukin-12 (IL-12). Curcumin has been demonstrated to be safe in six human trials and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity. It may exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Anti-tumour and antioxidant activity of natural curcuminoids.

          Matural curcuminoids, curcumin, I, II and III isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) were compared for their cytotoxic, tumour reducing and antioxidant activities. Curcumin III was found to be more active than the other two as a cytotoxic agent and in the inhibition of Ehrlich ascites tumour in mice (ILS 74.1%). These compounds were also checked for their antioxidant activity which possibly indicates their potential use as anti-promoters. The amount of curcuminoids (I, II and III) needed for 50% inhibition of lipid peroxidation was 20, 14 and 11 g/m. Concentrations needed for 50% inhibition of superoxides were 6.25, 4.25 and 1.9 micrograms/ml and those for hydroxyl radical were 2.3, 1.8 and 1.8 micrograms/ml, respectively. The ability of these compounds to suppress the superoxide production by macrophages activated with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) indicated that all the three curcuminoids inhibited superoxide production and curcumin III produced maximum effect. These results indicate that curcumin III is the most active of the curcuminoids present in turmeric. Synthetic curcumin I and III had similar activity to natural curcumins.
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            Inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase 2 expression in colon cells by the chemopreventive agent curcumin involves inhibition of NF-kappaB activation via the NIK/IKK signalling complex.

            Colorectal cancer is a major cause of cancer deaths in Western countries, but epidemiological data suggest that dietary modification might reduce these by as much as 90%. Cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX2), an inducible isoform of prostaglandin H synthase, which mediates prostaglandin synthesis during inflammation, and which is selectively overexpressed in colon tumours, is thought to play an important role in colon carcinogenesis. Curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, possesses potent anti-inflammatory activity and prevents colon cancer in animal models. However, its mechanism of action is not fully understood. We found that in human colon epithelial cells, curcumin inhibits COX2 induction by the colon tumour promoters, tumour necrosis factor alpha or fecapentaene-12. Induction of COX2 by inflammatory cytokines or hypoxia-induced oxidative stress can be mediated by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB). Since curcumin inhibits NF-kappaB activation, we examined whether its chemopreventive activity is related to modulation of the signalling pathway which regulates the stability of the NF-kappaB-sequestering protein, IkappaB. Recently components of this pathway, NF-kappaB-inducing kinase and IkappaB kinases, IKKalpha and beta, which phosphorylate IkappaB to release NF-kappaB, have been characterised. Curcumin prevents phosphorylation of IkappaB by inhibiting the activity of the IKKs. This property, together with a long history of consumption without adverse health effects, makes curcumin an important candidate for consideration in colon cancer prevention.
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              Curcumin, an anti-tumour promoter and anti-inflammatory agent, inhibits induction of nitric oxide synthase in activated macrophages.

               I Brouet,  H Ohshima (1995)
              L-Arginine-derived nitric oxide (NO) and its derivatives, such as peroxynitrite and nitrogen dioxide, play a role in inflammation and also possibly in the multistage process of carcinogenesis. We investigated the effect of various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and related compounds on the induction of NO synthase (NOS) in RAW 264.7 macrophages activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). Low concentrations of curcumin, a potent anti-tumour agent having anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, inhibited NO production, as measured by the amount of nitrite released into the culture medium in 24 h (IC50 = 6 microM). NOS activity in soluble extracts of macrophages activated for 6-24 h in the presence of curcumin (10 microM) was significantly lower than that of macrophages activated without curcumin. Northern-blot and immunoblotting analyses demonstrated that significantly reduced levels of the mRNA and 130-kDa protein of inducible NOS were expressed in macrophages activated with curcumin, compared to those without curcumin. Inhibition of NOS induction was maximal when curcumin was added together with LPS and IFN-gamma and decreased progressively as the interval between curcumin and LPS/IFN-gamma was increased to 18 h.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                12676044
                10.1089/107555303321223035

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