Cardioprotective effects of curcumin

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:359-77. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-46401-5_16.


Curcumin, a major active component of turmeric, is extracted from the powdered dry rhizome of Curcuma longa Linn (Zingiberaceae) and it has been used for centuries in indigenous medicine. We have shown that curcumin has a protective role against myocardial necrosis in rats. The antioxidant activity of curcumin could be attributed to the phenolic and methoxy groups in conjunction with the 1,3-diketone-conjugated diene system, for scavenging of the oxygen radicals. In addition, curcumin is shown to enhance the activities of detoxifying enzymes such as glutathione-S-transferase in vivo. We have also shown that oxygen free radicals exacerbate cardiac damage and curcumin induces cardioprotective effect and it also inhibits free-radical generation in myocardial ischemia in rats. This chapter on the cardioprotective effects of curcumin covers the following aspects: (1) the history of curcumin and its discovery as a potent drug with relevance to cardiovascular diseases; (2) mechanistic role of curcumin in vitro, emphasizing the antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects; (3) cardiovascular properties of curcumin; (4) application of curcumin in different animal models (viz. myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmia in vitro and in vivo); (5) curcumin free-radical scavenging activity, particularly against O2 radical and depletion of the oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiotonic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Structure


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Curcumin