[Recent advances in curcumin and its derivatives for treatment of liver diseases]

Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2014 Nov;49(11):1483-90.
[Article in Chinese]


Curcumin is a principal polyphenolic curcuminoid extracted from turmeric rhizome, which has been used for treating inflammation of joints, ulcers, jaundice and other disorders in Asian traditional medicine. In recent years, many studies have indicated that curcumin plays important roles in treatment of liver diseases. Curcumin attenuates liver injury and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by lowering the release of inflammation cytokines, minimizing oxidative stress, enhancing the sensitivity of insulin and altering lipid metabolism. Curcumin shows potent anti-fibrosis activity, contributing to inhibit the activation of hepatic stellate cells and reduce the deposition of extracellular matrix by its regulation of PPAR-γ, NF-ΚB and TGF-β signaling pathways. Moreover, curcumin exhibits anti-cancer effect by inducing G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in several hepatoma cell lines. However, poor water solubility and low bioavailability of curcumin limit its clinical applications. To overcome its limited systemic bioavailability, many new approaches have been explored to deliver curcumin effectively. This article focuses on advances in the effects of curcumin and its derivatives for treatment of liver injury, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis and hepatocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Hepatic Stellate Cells / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • NF-kappa B
  • PPAR gamma
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Curcumin