Synergistic effects of curcumin and its analogs with other bioactive compounds: A comprehensive review

Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Jan 15:210:113072. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2020.113072. Epub 2020 Dec 3.


Curcumin, as a natural compound, extracted from plant Curcuma longa, is abundant in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and have been used in a diverse array of pharmacological activities. Although curcumin has some limitations like low stability and low bioavailability, it has been proved that this compound induced apoptosis signaling and is also known to block cell proliferation signaling pathway. Recently, extensive research has been carried out to study the application of curcumin as a health improving agent, and devise new methods to overcome to the curcumin limitations and incorporate this functional ingredient into foods. Combinational chemotherapy is one of the basic strategies is using for 60 years for the treatment of various health problems like cancer, malaria, inflammation, diabetes and etc. Molecular hybridization is another strategy to make multi-pharmacophore or conjugated drugs with more synergistic effect than the parent compounds. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the pharmacological activity of curcumin and its analogs in combination with other bioactive compounds and cover more recent reports of anti-cancer, anti-malarial, and anti-inflammatory activities of these analogs.

Keywords: Anticancer; Curcumin; Synergy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antimalarials / chemistry
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Molecular Structure


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antimalarials
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Curcumin