Cardiovascular protection by curcumin: molecular aspects

Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2012 Oct;49(5):306-15.


Curcumin is the active component in turmeric--a spice that has been extensively used as a culinary agent and a home remedy to prevent and treat many diseases in India and other countries for hundreds of years. However, systematic studies to understand the molecular basis of disease preventing or therapeutic properties of curcumin began to appear in the scientific literature only during the last 40 years. As a result of these studies, substantial evidence has accumulated to suggest that curcumin can affect signaling pathways linked to cellular growth, proliferation, survival, inflammation and transcription. In addition, curcumin has also been shown to exert anti-atherosclerotic, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties in animal models of various diseases and in human subjects. In this article, we highlight the cardiovascular protective role of curcumin with an emphasis on the molecular basis of this effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Cardiotonic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Curcumin