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Curcumin - Prevention and Therapy of Inflammatory Diseases

Vladislav Stoychev, Mariya Chingalova, Vladislav Velikov, Dimitar Dimitrov, Rositsa Chamova


Introduction: Curcumin is an active polyphenol derived from the spice turmeric, popular in Asian cuisine. Generally believed to be beneficial for human health, it has been an object of scientific studies for the last half century. It has been tested on animals many times, and it has proved to be safe and non-toxic for humans. Analyzing extensive studies, we found out that curcumin has chemopreventive and anti-inflammatory properties. In the near future, this may turn it into a  valuable tool in relieving and completely curing cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Materials and Methods: We based our survey on a meta-analysis of 4 researches published in PubMed and the website of the American Diabetes Association.

Results: Extensive clinical researches found that curcumin induces apoptosis in cancer and pre-cancer cells. The turmeric derivative affects cell-signaling pathways of cancer cells and inhibits their cell cycle. Curcumin reduces chronic inflammation by directly interacting with white adipose tissue and suppresses the activation of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 by immune cells. In 2012, a diabetes research was conducted on a group of 240 patients classified as pre-diabetic. Subjects were randomly chosen to receive either curcumin or placebo capsules. To assess the progression of T2DM (type 2 diabetes mellitus), parameters such as insulin-resistance and changes in β-cells were monitored. After 9 months, 16.4% of the subjects in the placebo group developed T2DM. None of the patients in the curcumin-treated group developed diabetes and they showed an overall better function of the pancreatic β cells.

Conclusions: Based on the data acquired through the research, we found an opportunity to introduce curcumin into clinics for treatment, prevention and therapy of inflammatory diseases such as T2DM and obesity related diseases. As of recently curcumin has been used in aiding chemo- and radiotherapy in battling cancer.


curcumin, chemopreventive, anti-infammatory, diabetes ,obesity, cancer



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