On the antioxidant mechanism of curcumin: classical methods are needed to determine antioxidant mechanism and activity

Org Lett. 2000 Sep 7;2(18):2841-3. doi: 10.1021/ol000173t.


[reaction: see structure] The antioxidant activity of curcumin (1, 7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione) was determined by inhibition of controlled initiation of styrene oxidation. Synthetic nonphenolic curcuminoids exhibited no antioxidant activity; therefore, curcumin is a classical phenolic chain-breaking antioxidant, donating H atoms from the phenolic groups not the CH(2) group as has been suggested (Jovanovic et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 9677). The antioxidant activities of o-methoxyphenols are decreased in hydrogen bond accepting media.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peroxides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Peroxides / chemistry
  • Styrene / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Peroxides
  • perhydroxyl radical
  • Styrene
  • Curcumin