Curcumin in plasma and urine: quantitation by high-performance liquid chromatography

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2003 Jan 5;783(1):287-95. doi: 10.1016/s1570-0232(02)00714-6.


Curcumin, a derivative of the plant Curcuma longa, is used extensively in the food industry. It is a major component of curry powder, and research has shown that curcumin may prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. We have developed a robust automated analytical method for the determination of curcumin in plasma and urine. The method involves extracting the curcumin from 0.2 ml sample volume with ethyl acetate/methanol organic solvents, and use of an internal standard, beta-17-estradiol acetate. Analysis utilizes a reversed-phase C(18) column and UV detection at 262 nm. Performance characteristics have been assessed. The assay is linear from 0.2 to 7.0 microgram/ml. The coefficient of variation for intra- and inter-day assays is <7.5%. The average recovery of curcumin from plasma and urine is greater than 96%. The data presented in this report demonstrate that the method provides rapid, sensitive, precise and accurate measurements of curcumin concentrations in plasma and urine.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Curcumin / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • Curcumin