Purpose of review: Curcumin, commonly known as turmeric, is a spice that comes from the root Curcuma longa. The present article presents an update of new studies of curcumin activities as tested in anticancer models from 2011 to 2015.
Recent findings: Evidence from in-vitro and in-vivo research, together with clinical trials conducted over the past few decades, substantiates the potential of curcumin as an anticancer and anti-inflammatory agent. The development of formulations of curcumin in the form of nanoparticles, liposomes, micelles, or phospholipid complexes to enhance its bioavailability and efficacy are still in the early stages. Clinical trials with curcumin indicate safety, tolerability, and nontoxicity. However, the efficacy is questionable, based on the small numbers of patients in each study.
Summary: The laboratory and the clinical studies until 2011 were summarized in a review published in this journal. An update of the new studies and knowledge from 2011 to March 2015 focuses on new ways to overcome its low bioavailability and data from clinical trials.