Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases: An age-old spice with modern targets – Source: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Feb 2009

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a yellow pigment in the spice turmeric (also called curry powder), has been used for centuries as a treatment for inflammatory diseases.

Extensive research within the past two decades has shown that curcumin mediates its anti-inflammatory effects through the downregulation of:

• Inflammatory transcription factors (such as nuclear factor kappaB),

• Enzymes (such as cyclooxygenase 2 and 5 lipoxygenase)

• And cytokines (such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 1 and interleukin 6).

Because of the crucial role of inflammation in most chronic diseases, the potential of curcumin has been examined in neoplastic [tumorous], neurological, cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic diseases.

The pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of curcumin have been examined in animals and in humans.

Various pharmacological aspects of curcumin in vitro [lab] and in vivo [living subjects] are discussed in detail here.

Source: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Feb 2009;30(2):85-94. PMID: 19110321 by Aggarwal BB, Sung B. Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA. [E-mail:]

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