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Author Topic: Curcumin  (Read 3509 times)


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« on: November 16, 2010, 04:42:13 PM »
What is Curcumin?

Who said something that tastes good can't be good for you? Curcumin (Curcuma longa) is the source of the spice Turmeric, and is used in curries and other spicy dishes from India, Asia, and the Middle East. Curcumin is what gives the Curry its characteristic bright yellow color and strong taste. If curry is too spicy for your tummy, then you can still obtain the benefits of Curcumin by taking it as a nutritional supplement in convenient capsule form. Or, if you like the heat, break the capsule open and sprinkle it on your food.

Like many herbal remedies, people first used Curcumin as a food and later discovered that it also had impressive medicinal qualities. Over the centuries, this spice has been used as a pain relieving, anti-inflammatory agent to relieve pain and inflammation in the skin and muscles. It has served as a treatment for jaundice, menstrual difficulties, hematuria, hemorrhage, colic, and flatulence. In modern times, research has focused on Curcumin's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial properties, and on its use in cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and as a treatment for the liver.

The food we eat has a direct effect on our health, even if that food is something as seemingly insignificant as a spice. Research on families immigrating from India to the United States may reflect the importance of Curcumin in the diet. It is well documented that cancer rates in India are lower than those seen in Western countries.

We have been selling a lot of Curcumin supplements in the health food store, people are finding its a good natural pain reliever.

Linda :)

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.


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Re: Curcumin
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 05:57:21 PM »
Good info to print and keep on hand, Thanks Linda.  :)


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Re: Curcumin
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 06:56:50 AM »
I hope ya all don't mind a long post. The short version is, circumin has proven medicinal value. Here is an excerpt from a wikipedia article on it. There are some medical contraindications, as with any herb,  so read the fine print
For example circuma inhibits blood clotting, which is good sometimes, but a person shouldn't take it 2 weeks prior to surgery. Don't let these things scare you off, just read up on it. Many uses. It is even an anti cancer herb!
To see the references, go to the link,  :)
- Yowbarb
Circumin    [  Curcuma domestica ]

Demonstrated medical uses

A daily dose of 2 grams of Curcuma domestica extract was found to provide pain relief that was equivalent to ibuprofen for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.[8] An extensive survey of the literature shows a number of other potential uses and that daily doses over a 3 month period of up to 12 grams proved safe.[9] Commercial capsules of curcumin contain piperine, a compound found in pepper which aids absorption of curcumin into the blood stream. However, as curcuma is known to inhibit blood clotting, it should be avoided for a two week period prior to major surgery and not used in conjunction with blood thinners such as warfarin and Plavix. It is also known to aggravate gallstone problems.[10]

Potential medical uses

Turmeric has been used historically as a component of Indian Ayurvedic medicine since 1900 BC to treat a wide variety of ailments.[11] Research in the latter half of the 20th century has identified curcumin as responsible for most of the biological activity of turmeric.[11] In vitro and animal studies have suggested a wide range of potential therapeutic or preventive effects associated with curcumin. At present, these effects have not been confirmed in humans. However, as of 2008, numerous clinical trials in humans were underway, studying the effect of curcumin on various diseases, including multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes, colon cancer, psoriasis, and Alzheimer's disease.[12]

In vitro and animal studies have proven that curcumin has antitumor,[13][14][15] antioxidant, antiarthritic, antiamyloid, anti-ischemic,[16] and anti-inflammatory properties.[17] Anti-inflammatory properties may be due to inhibition of eicosanoid biosynthesis.[18] In addition it may be effective in treating malaria, prevention of cervical cancer, and may interfere with the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).[19] In HIV, it appears to act by interfering with P300/CREB-binding protein (CBP). It is also hepatoprotective.[20] A 2008 study at Michigan State University showed low concentrations of curcumin interfere with Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) replication.[21] The same study showed curcumin inhibited the recruitment of RNA polymerase II to viral DNA, thus inhibiting its transcription.[21] This effect was shown to be independent of effect on histone acetyltransferase activities of p300/CBP.[21] A previous (1999) study performed at University of Cincinnati indicated curcumin is significantly associated with protection from infection by HSV-2 in animal models of intravaginal infections.[22]

Curcumin acts as a free radical scavenger and antioxidant, inhibiting lipid peroxidation[23] and oxidative DNA damage. Curcuminoids induce glutathione S-transferase and are potent inhibitors of cytochrome P450.

The Siegel Life Project funded an initial study on curcumin for Alzheimer's in 1997-1998 through the UCLA Center on Aging. UCLA/VA researchers Drs. Cole and Frautschy presented potent anti-Alzheimer's effects in 1997 and 2000 at the Society for Neuroscience.[24][25] These data were then published in 2001, demonstrating that curcumin was particularly effective in reducing neurodegeneration, oxidative damage, diffuse plaque deposition, aberrant inflammation and impaired inflammatory clearance following beta-amyloid infusion, which was published in 2001.[26] This led to testing in a transgenic animal model where it was shown to dramatically diminish plaque burden and overall inflammation, but also increase plaque associated inflammatory cells suggesting clearance.[27] In 2004 this UCLA/Veterans group demonstrated that the effect was in part to the highly specific binding effects to beta-amyloid, whereby it could break apart amyloid aggregates in vitro, bind to plaques in vivo, and because of its fluorescent properties, it could be determined that plaques of transgenic mice ingesting curcumin fluoresced green, demonstrating brain penetration.[28] A Harvard group showed that 7 days of tail vein injections of curcumin shrunk plaque size and reduced dystrophic neurites.[29] The UCLA group also showed curcumin synerigizing with fish oil working to protect against cognitive deficits in another transgenic model.[30] However humans show much more glucuronidation than rodents, and glucuronidated curcumin does not pass the blood brain barrier (See section on curcumin formulations). Free curcumin but not glucuronidated curcumin readily passes through the barrier. But extensive glucuronidation in humans is the major barrier to translation in neurodegenerative diseases. Human intestinal cells glucuronidate more than rodent intestine (Ireson) [31]

There is also circumstantial evidence curcumin improves mental functions; a survey of 1010 Asian people who ate yellow curry and were between the ages of 60 and 93 showed those who ate the sauce "once every six months" or more had higher MMSE results than those who did not.[32] From a scientific standpoint, though, this does not show whether the curry caused it, or people who had healthy habits also tended to eat the curry, or some completely different relationship.

Numerous studies have demonstrated curcumin, amongst only a few other things, such as high impact exercise, learning, bright light, and antidepressant usage, has a positive effect on neurogenesis in the hippocampus and concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), reductions in both of which are associated with stress, depression, and anxiety.[33][34][35] Curcumin has also been demonstrated to be a selective monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) of type MAO-A. Fluorescent imaging in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease showed that curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier.[36] Several studies have demonstrated that unlike glucuronidated curcumin, free curcumin, which is lipophilic, readily passes the blood brain barrier[37][38]

In 2009, an Iranian group demonstrated the combination effect of curcumin with 24 antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus. In that study, in the presence of a subinhibitory concentration of curcumin, the antibacterial activities of cefixime, cefotaxime, vancomycin and tetracycline were increased against test strain. The increase in inhibition zone surface area for these antibiotics were 52.6% (cefixime), 24.9% (cephotaxime), 26.5% (vancomycin ) and 24.4% (tetracycline). Also it showed curcumin has an antagonist effect on the antibacterial effect of nalidixic acid against the test strain.[39]

Although many preclinical studies suggest curcumin may be useful for the prevention and treatment of several diseases, the effectiveness of curcumin has not yet been demonstrated in randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials.[40]

In 2008 scientists at the Salk Institute (Drs. Dave Schubert and Pam Maher) performed high throughput screening, identifying a curcumin pyrazole derivative, which improved memory,[41] is broadly neuroprotective,[42] stimulates BDNF in vitro and in vivo. This group showed in collaboration with UCLA that it was protective in brain trauma [43] and in collaboration with Cedars Sinai/UCSD groups that it was protective in stroke.[44]
[edit] Anticarcinogenic effects

Its potential anticancer effects stem from its ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without cytotoxic effects on healthy cells. Curcumin can interfere with the activity of the transcription factor NF-κB, which has been linked to a number of inflammatory diseases such as cancer.[45]

A 2009 study suggested curcumin may inhibit mTOR complex I via a novel mechanism.[46]

Another 2009 study on curcumin effects on cancer states it "modulates growth of tumor cells through regulation of multiple cell signaling pathways including cell proliferation pathway (cyclin D1, c-myc), cell survival pathway (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, cFLIP, XIAP, c-IAP1), caspase activation pathway (caspase-8, 3, 9), tumor suppressor pathway (p53, p21) death receptor pathway (DR4, DR5), mitochondrial pathways, and protein kinase pathway (JNK, Akt, and AMPK)".[47]

A 2010 study in malignant brain tumors showed curcumin effectively inhibits tumor cell proliferation, as well as migration and invasion, and these effects may be mediated through interference with the STAT3 signaling pathway.[48]

When 0.2% curcumin is added to diet given to rats or mice previously given a carcinogen, it significantly reduces colon carcinogenesis.[49]

Curcumin has recently been shown to have phyto-estrogenic activity that might contribute to activity against breast cancer.[50] In the murine model of breast cancer metastasis, curcumin inhibits the formation of lung metastases [51] probably through the NF-kappa-B dependent regulation of protumorigenic inflammatory cytokines.[52]

Curcumin might be potentially useful in some kidney diseases by preventing renal inflammation.[53]
[edit] Bioavailability

There have been several commercial products developed to provide an alternative route to curcumin. Several trials with unformulated curcumin show extensive glucuronidation and sulfation and typically undetectable levels of free curcumin.[54][55] For example, trials show that ingestion from 2 to 10 grams of unformulated curcumin lead to undetectable or very low serum levels of free curcumin.[56] For neurodegenerative diseases, it is important that curcumin is absorbed predominantly as 'free" as opposed to glucuronidated, since glucuronidated curcumin does not penetrate the blood brain barrier, while free curcumin is readily brain penetrant.[37]

The first formulation to improve bioavailability was curcumin supplements with piperine ("bioperine", manufactured by Sabinsa Corp, New Jersey) and distributed by several companies. Co-supplementation with 20 mg of piperine (extracted from black pepper) significantly increased the absorption of curcumin by 2000% in a study funded by the manufacturer of piperine.[56] However, the increase in absorption in plasma only occurred during the first hour, after which the difference between the piperine curcumin and the regular curcumin was almost the same as far as absorption. It is important to recognize that rapid clearance from plasma after acute administration is not likely to represent levels in tissues such as adipose, breast or brain.[37] Glucuronidation inhibitors should be taken cautiously (if at all) by individuals taking other medications, and whether the doses of piperine used can dramatically increase clinical impact is as yet inconclusive.

The second major commercial innovation of curcumin bioavailability was made in 2006, when UC Regents and the Veterans Administration filed a provisional patent, which led to Longvida Optimized Curcumin. In July 2008, the inventors described a new form of "lipidated curcumin" from Verdure Sciences as "Longvida" that was noted to achieve more than 5 micromolar in the brain in vivo.[37] Pharmacokinetics of Longvida in humans shows superior absorption of free curcumin.[57] Extensive toxicity studies have been performed showing Longvida to have an excellent safety profile.[58] as was found in the NIH cancer toxicity studies with tumeric oleoresin leading it to be placed on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list.[59] New clinical data on this formulation has recently been reported.

Another method to increase the bioavailability of curcumin was later developed as Meriva, patent pending since 2006[60] and involves a simple procedure creating a complex with soy phospholipids. However, there was no plasma concentration of free curcumin found in humans. In animals, free curcumin reaching 33.4 nanomolar while in humans, zero was detected.[61]

Another curcumin proprietary formulation was introduced in 2008 (BCM-95®, Biocurcumax, Arjuna) mixed with turmeric oils, was reviewed in human cross-over bioavailability comparison tests to have 8 times the bioavailability and greater blood retention time than standard 95% curcuminoids extract, and up to 5 times more than curcumin combined with lecithin and piperine.[62] In another study published in a non-medical business journal, this same formula was also shown to remain above 200 ng/g for 12 hours in a human clinical study. Plain curcumin remained above 200 ng/g for less than 2 hours. Two hours after ingestion, BCM-95 levels of free curcumin were 10-fold over that of plain curcumin.[63] However, a subsequent study found no curcumin was absorbed from BCM-95 when it is taken for more than one single dose. In this six-month placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial in Alzheimer's disease, individuals in the BCM-95 groups even doses as high as 4 g failed to yield any significant free curcumin in the plasma, nor clinical effect. Interestingly there was a non-significant increase in serum amyloid beta with the high dose, which may relate to some effect on amyloid clearance from the brain. ”.[64]

There are other formulations for curcumin in the pipeline, that have not yet become commercial. In 2007, a polymeric nanoparticle-encapsulated formulation of curcumin made on the lab scale ("nanocurcumin"[65]). Nanocurcumin particles are typically used for needle injection treatments, since they have a size of less than 100 nanometers on average, are unstable in the gut and demonstrate marginal efficacy compared to free curcumin in test tubes of human cancer cell line models.[65] However, actual in vivo absorption (injected or oral) should be tested with this nanoparticle.

In 2010, a food-grade polymer micellar encapsulation system was shown to increase curcumin's water solubility and in vitro anti-cancer activity. It was found that hydrophobically modified starch, usually used to encapsulate flavors, was able to form polymer micelles. Using a simple high-speed homogenization method, it can load curcumin into its hydrophobic core, and thus solubilize curcumin. Cell culture experiments revealed an enhanced anti-cancer activity on HepG2 cell line. However, more in vivo studies are needed to further prove its efficacy in the aspect of bioavailability.[66]

Populations ingesting high amounts of curcumin in foods may have reduced risk for some diseases (Parkinson's), which may be due to an effect of cooking or dissolution in oil. Some benefits of curcumin, such as the benefits for the gut, may not require systemic absorption. Likewise, traditional use in India suggests dissolving curcumin in warm oils prior to ingestion increases bioavailability. Several forms based on this concept are now available, however not all of them are proven to absorb intact into the bloodstream. [61]
[edit] Potential risks and side effects

Extensive in vivo toxicity studies have been performed with turmeric Oleoresin (85% curcumin) which led to it being placed on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list [54]. Kawanishi et al. (2005) remarked that curcumin, like many antioxidants, can be a "double-edged sword" where, in the test tube, anticancer and antioxidant effects may be seen in addition to pro-oxidant effects.[67] Carcinogenic effects are inferred from interference with the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, an important factor in human colon cancer.[68] Carcinogenic and LD50 tests in mice and rats, however, have failed to establish a clear relationship between tumorogenesis and administration of curcumin in turmeric oleoresin at >98% concentrations.[69] Other in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that curcumin may cause carcinogenic effects under specific conditions.[70][71]

Clinical studies in humans with high doses (2–12 grams) of curcumin have shown few side effects, with some subjects reporting mild nausea or diarrhea.[72] More recently, curcumin was found to alter iron metabolism by chelating iron and suppressing the protein hepcidin, potentially causing iron deficiency in susceptible patients.[73] Further studies seem to be necessary to establish the benefit/risk profile of curcumin.[74]

There is no or little evidence to suggest curcumin is either safe or unsafe for pregnant women. However, there is still some concern medicinal use of products containing curcumin could stimulate the uterus, which may lead to a miscarriage, although there is not much evidence to support this claim. According to experiments done on rats and guinea pigs, there is no obvious effect (neither positive, nor negative) on the pregnancy rate or number of live or dead embryos.[75] Curcumin has embryotoxic and teratogenic effects on zebrafishes (Danio rerio) embryos.[76]

« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 07:13:45 AM by Yowbarb »


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Re: Curcumin
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2011, 07:12:44 AM »
In Malaysia and other places in Asia they sometimes dip the fish in tumeric powder, coating it, before frying. The circumin has medicinal properties.
Not only does this fish recipe contain circumin, an anti cancer herb. the sauce also contains lemongrass an anticancer herb.
- Yowbarb
...  Southeast Asian food

Fried Fish in Sambal Sauce - Sambal Ikan Goreng

A great traditional Malay dish that is easy to prepare: simply dress up an ordinary fish with a spicy
chili sauce. Before it is fried, the fish is evenly coated with turmeric powder that, according to Ayurvedic medicine, has healing properties. This delicious dish goes great with boiled/steamed white rice. The sauce, or sambal in Malay, is excellent not just with fish but also with other seafood, meats and even hard boiled eggs. Make a whole tub and freeze extra portions for later use – then get the neighborhood talking when you serve this exotic dish at your next dinner party.

    1 lb mackerel, tilapia or red snapper (serves 2 as a main course)
    2 Tbsp turmeric powder
    2 tsp salt
    Enough cooking oil to cover one side of the fish


    Cut the fish into half, if you find that what you have is a little too big for your wok or pan.
    Marinade the fish by sprinkling salt all over it.
    Then rub in the turmeric powder, pat it down and leave the fish to dry on a plate.
    Allow it to sit in the marinade for at least half an hour before frying. This will help the salt and turmeric penetrate the skin and flavor the flesh.
    Heat the oil in a wok / pan until it is very hot. Keep the flame on high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, it is time to put the fish in. Very hot oil helps keep the skin and flesh together and prevents the skin from sticking to the wok / pan.
    Be very gentle when you place the fish in the hot oil as moisture from the fish may cause the oil to bubble and splatter. A pair of long tongs / spatula will help you keep a safe distance. After about half a minute, turn the heat down to medium.
    If there is sufficient oil so that all of the fish is completely immersed, then there will be no need to turn the fish over. Otherwise, turn it over after about 2 minutes. Fry until both sides of the fish are golden brown.
    Place some kitchen towels on a plate. Put the fish on top of the kitchen towel to drain away excess oil.
    Serve with the Spicy Sambal Sauce and boiled white rice.
Malaysian Sambal Sauce:

The Malaysian Sambal Sauce is an extremely versatile accompaniment and can be used as a dressing for all kinds of meats, seafood and even hard boiled eggs. Fragrant and tasty, it can add excitement to any dish. The sambal is popular as a condiment in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Make a whole tub and freeze extra portions for later use. Divide the sambal into 5 Tbsp portions before freezing – it keeps fresh frozen, for about 2 - 3 months.

    10 chopped shallots, or 8 small chopped red onions
    2 ounces or 8 fresh chilies, remove seeds and slice
    5 cloves sliced garlic
    1 stalk lemongrass thinly sliced (use only the bottom 3 inches of the stalk)
    ½ ounce tamarind (soak in a cup of water and pour the tamarind juice through a strainer before use)
    ½ ounce or 10 dried chilies (soak in hot water for 5 minutes), or 3 tsp chilly powder
    2 tsp turmeric powder
    3 Tbsp sugar
    1 tsp salt, or to taste


    Blend the first six ingredients into a paste. If they do not blend easily, add about 3 tsp of oil to the mixture.
    Heat 5 Tbsp oil in a wok / pan. When the oil is moderately hot, sauté the paste until it is fragrant. This should take about 15 minutes. Use only low heat and stir the paste constantly so that it does not stick to the wok/pan.
    Add the tamarind juice and the sugar.
    Let the paste cook while stirring occasionally. It is ready when oil from the paste floats to the top.
    Ladle as much of the finished sambal as you want onto your main dish. Let the rest of the sambal cool before storing it in meal-sized portions for freezing.

Parenting tip : If your children love fish fingers or fried fish, then leave out the sambal sauce, which may be too spicy for them. Even without the sauce, the fish tastes very nice and crispy.

Want to check out a Malaysian Party Menu?


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Re: Curcumin
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 01:55:15 PM »
Curcumin is one of the herbs which may help prevent skin cancer.
- Yowbarb

Natural Remedies That May Help Prevent Skin Cancer

While sun safety is the most vital element of skin cancer prevention, certain natural compounds may help boost your skin-cancer defense. Here is a look at several possible skin-protectors.

1) Curcumin

Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, curcumin (a yellow pigment found in the curry spice turmeric) may help destroy and thwart the growth of melanoma cells, according to preliminary evidence published in 2005.

2) Green Tea

In tests on mice, scientists have found that drinking green tea may stave off the cell division that occurs in the early stages of skin cancer. In a 2005 study, for instance, green tea consumption reduced ultraviolet-light-induced tumor incidence and tumor growth.

Other research suggests that topically applied green tea may also help protect skin from DNA damage caused by UV rays.

3) Milk Thistle

When applied to the skin and used in combination with sunscreen, milk thistle may help aid in skin-cancer prevention, finds a 2005 review of animal-based research. Shown to produce antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-regulating effects, the herb appears to inhibit several tumor-promoters involved in skin cancer development.

Skin Cancer Symptoms

Remember that many of these studies only offer preliminary evidence. That means that no natural remedy can replace sun protection in the prevention of skin cancer. To keep your skin healthy, check regularly for skin-cancer symptoms (such as new growths or spots, changes in the size or color of an existing mole, or scaliness, oozing, or bleeding) and consult your doctor immediately with any concerns.


Surviving the Planet X Tribulation: A Faith-Based Leadership Guide

Surviving the Planet X Tribulation: A Faith-Based Leadership Guide

This uplifting and entertaining guide is written to give you, the reader, confidence and hope through effective leadership techniques and survival community strategies designed for an extended tribulation. Learn more...


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