Curcumin and liver disease

Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):88-100. doi: 10.1002/biof.1057. Epub 2013 Jan 10.


Liver diseases pose a major medical problem worldwide and a wide variety of herbs have been studied for the management of liver-related diseases. In this respect, curcumin has long been used in traditional medicine, and in recent years it has been the object of increasing research interest. In combating liver diseases, it seems clear that curcumin exerts a hypolipidic effect, which prevents the fatty acid accumulation in the hepatocytes that may result from metabolic imbalances, and which may cause nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Another crucial protective activity of curcumin, not only in the context of chronic liver diseases but also regarding carcinogenesis and other age-related processes, is its potent antioxidant activity, which affects multiple processes and signaling pathways. The effects of curcumin on NF-κβ are crucial to our understanding of the potent hepatoprotective role of this herb-derived micronutrient. Because curcumin is a micronutrient that is closely related to cellular redox balance, its properties and activity give rise to a series of molecular reactions that in every case and biological situation affect the mitochondria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cholestasis / drug therapy
  • Cholestasis / metabolism
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Fatty Liver / drug therapy
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism
  • Hepatitis / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy
  • Liver Cirrhosis / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Oxidative Stress


  • Antioxidants
  • Curcumin