Curcumin as a Therapeutic Agent

June 16/London/Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week -- New research, "Curcumin as a Therapeutic Agent: The Evidence from in Vitro, Animal and Human Studies," is the subject of a report. "Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric. It is widely used as a kitchen spice and food colorant throughout India, Asia and the Western world," researchers in London, the U.K., report.

"Curcumin is a major constituent of curry powder, to which it imparts its characteristic yellow color. For over 4,000 years, curcumin has been used in traditional Asian and African medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. There is a strong current public interest in naturally occurring plant-based remedies and dietary factors related to health and disease. Curcumin is non-toxic to human subjects at high doses. It is a complex molecule with multiple biological targets and different cellular effects. Recently, its molecular mechanisms of action have been extensively investigated. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Under some circumstances its effects can be contradictory, with uncertain implications for human treatment. While more studies are warranted to further understand these contradictions, curcumin holds promise as a disease-modifying and chemopreventive agent," wrote J. Epstein and colleagues, Queen Mary University of London, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science.

The researchers concluded, "We review the evidence for the therapeutic potential of curcumin from in vitro studies, animal models and human clinical trials."

Epstein and colleagues published their study in The British Journal of Nutrition ("Curcumin as a Therapeutic Agent: The Evidence from in Vitro, Animal and Human Studies." The British Journal of Nutrition, 2010;103(11):1545-57).

For additional information, contact J. Epstein, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, 4 Newark Street, London E1 2AT, United Kingdom.

From the June 17, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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