Curcumin: a pleiotropic phytonutrient in diabetic complications

Nutrition. 2015 Feb;31(2):276-82. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.06.015. Epub 2014 Jul 19.


Curcumin is the major polyphenolic constituent of an indigenous herb, Curcuma longa, found to have a wide range of applications right from its kitchen use as a spicy ingredient to therapeutic and medicinal applications in various diseases. Curcumin has been identified to have a plethora of biologic and pharmacologic properties owing to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. This pleiotropic regulation of redox balance of cell and inflammation might be the basis of curcumin's beneficial activities in various pathologic conditions including diabetic complications. This review summarizes various in vitro, in vivo studies done on curcumin and its therapeutic utility in diabetic micro-vascular complications. This review also emphasizes the importance of curcumin in addition to the existing therapeutic modalities in diabetic complications.

Keywords: Curcumin; Diabetic complications; Nephropathy; Neuropathy; Retinopathy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology*
  • Spices


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemicals
  • Curcumin