Toxicity prediction of compounds from turmeric (Curcuma longa L)

Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Oct;48(10):2951-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.07.032. Epub 2010 Jul 25.


Turmeric belongs to the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Currently, cheminformatics approaches are not employed in any of the spices to study the medicinal properties traditionally attributed to them. The aim of this study is to find the most efficacious molecule which does not have any toxic effects. In the present study, toxicity of 200 chemical compounds from turmeric were predicted (includes bacterial mutagenicity, rodent carcinogenicity and human hepatotoxicity). The study shows out of 200 compounds, 184 compounds were predicted as toxigenic, 136 compounds are mutagenic, 153 compounds are carcinogenic and 64 compounds are hepatotoxic. To cross validate our results, we have chosen the popular curcumin and found that curcumin and its derivatives may cause dose dependent hepatotoxicity. The results of these studies indicate that, in contrast to curcumin, few other compounds in turmeric which are non-mutagenic, non-carcinogenic, non-hepatotoxic, and do not have any side-effects. Hence, the cost-effective approach presented in this paper could be used to filter toxic compounds from the drug discovery lifecycle.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenicity Tests
  • Carcinogens / analysis
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Curcuma / chemistry
  • Curcuma / toxicity*
  • Curcumin / analysis
  • Curcumin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens / chemistry
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • turmeric extract
  • Curcumin