Curcumin: The miraculous golden ingredient of Indian saffron

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Indrani Kalkan



Background: Indian Saffron (Curcuma longa) also called turmeric; has been consumed for centuries by people as a dietary component and used in the traditional medicine as a household remedy for various diseases in India, China and South East Asia. Curcumin (diferuloyl methane), the main yellow bioactive pigment in turmeric has been shown to have a broad spectrum of biological activities. Purpose of study: The present review was performed to evaluate the molecular mechanism of action and role of Curcumin in health and disease. Sources of evidence: The literature search was conducted using Sciencedirect, Medline, Scopus data bases, 26 studies were included in this review. Main arguement: Animal studies with curcumin exhibited its digestive and anti- ulcer role through its excess production of mucin, bile, and digestive enzymes. Curcumin is effective in preventing cognitive impairment in Alzheimer Disease, Parkinson Disease and other oxidative stress related pathologies due to its antioxidative, anti-inflammatory roles. It has been suggested that the ability of curcumin to quench free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) results in its protective role towards neuronal tissues against toxic chemicals as Manganese. Anticancer effect is mainly mediated through apoptosis of cancer cell lines. Clinically curcumin is used to reduce post-operative inflammation. Conclusions: Safety evaluation studies indicate that both turmeric and curcumin are well tolerated at a high dose without any toxic effects and therefore, have the potential for the development of modern medicine in the treatment of various diseases.

Key words: Curcumin, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory.


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