The beneficial role of curcumin on inflammation, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease: A recent update

Food Chem Toxicol. 2015 Sep;83:111-24. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2015.05.022. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Abstract

The concept of using phytochemicals has ushered in a new revolution in pharmaceuticals. Naturally occurring polyphenols (like curcumin, morin, resveratrol, etc.) have gained importance because of their minimal side effects, low cost and abundance. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is a component of turmeric isolated from the rhizome of Curcuma longa. Research for more than two decades has revealed the pleiotropic nature of the biological effects of this molecule. More than 7000 published articles have shed light on the various aspects of curcumin including its antioxidant, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. Apart from these well-known activities, this natural polyphenolic compound also exerts its beneficial effects by modulating different signalling molecules including transcription factors, chemokines, cytokines, tumour suppressor genes, adhesion molecules, microRNAs, etc. Oxidative stress and inflammation play a pivotal role in various diseases like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular diseases. Curcumin, therefore, could be a therapeutic option for the treatment of these diseases, provided limitations in its oral bioavailability can be overcome. The current review provides an updated overview of the metabolism and mechanism of action of curcumin in various organ pathophysiologies. The review also discusses the potential for multifunctional therapeutic application of curcumin and its recent progress in clinical biology.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Cancer; Curcumin; Diabetes; Inflammation; Neurodegenerative disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis / metabolism
  • Arthritis / prevention & control
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Curcumin / adverse effects
  • Curcumin / metabolism
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism
  • Diabetes Complications / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / prevention & control
  • Neuroprotective Agents / adverse effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Curcumin