Curcumin

Updated | 2019-03-14


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Curcumin


Overview

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Curcumin (curcuminoids compound class) is the most widely studied compound in turmeric (Curcuma longa). Curcumin is considered to have anti-cancer properties; however, most studies are done with isolated cancer cells, but not in humans. This bright yellow compound comprises of about 1 to 9% of the turmeric rhizome by weight [Dhakal et al. 2016]. The curcumin content in turmeric rhizomes depends on the location of cultivated plants, plant age, and soil quality. Curcumin has poor bioavailability (i.e., not easily absorbed by the body) because it is relatively insoluble in water. Nonetheless, researchers are discovering novel ways to improve the bioavailability of curcumin by modifying its structure and mode of delivery.



Evidence

Strong:

-

Good:

-

Promising:

  • Anti-Oxidant, including a curcumin, resveratrol, EGCG, and soy isoflavone combination [2-5]
  • Oral Lichen Planus [6-9]

Conflicting (Unclear):


Limited Evidence:

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome [15]
  • Alcohol Intoxication, treated with a potentially more bioavailable form of curcumin [16]
  • Alzheimer’s Disease [17]
  • Arthritis [18]
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) [19]
  • beta-Thalassemia/Hb E Patients [20]
  • Breast Cancer, curcumin with docetaxel [21]
  • Cancer [22-23]
  • Chronic Anterior Uveitis, curcumin may be an alternative to corticosteroids [24]
  • Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis, curcumin with saw palmetto, stinging nettle, and quercetin [25]
  • Chronic Kidney Disease, curcumin with Boswellia [26]
  • Chronic Myeloid Leukemia [27]
  • Chronic Pancreatitis in Tropical Countries, curcumin with piperine [28]
  • Crohn’s Disease [29]
  • Dejerine-Sottas Disease [30]
  • Dental Plaque [31-32]
  • Diabetic Microangiopathy [33-34]
  • Diabetic Retinopathy [35]
  • DNA Damage Caused by Arsenic [36]
  • Endothelial Function in Type 2 Diabetics [37]
  • Endothelial Function in Postmenopausal Women [38]
  • Factor H-Deficient Patient [39]
  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, curcumin with quercetin [40]
  • Gallbladder Contractions [41-42]
  • Gingivitis, one study found that a curcumin mouthwash was comparable to chlorhexidine [43-44]
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Clearance, a cream containing curcumin [45]
  • Improved Outcome after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting [46]
  • Improved Outcome after Kidney Transplant, curcumin with quercetin [47]
  • Infantile Hemangioendothelioma of the Liver [48]
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Children [49]
  • Left Ventricular Afterload in Postmenopausal Women [50]
  • Lowers Cholesterol [51-53]
  • Lowers Triglyceride [54-56]
  • Melanoma, curcumin with tamoxifen [57]
  • Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) [58-59]
  • Odor of Malignant Fungating Wounds [60]
  • Osteoarthritis/Joint Pain, a curcumin / soy phosphatidylcholine combination may be effective, but not a curcumin / diclofenac combination [61-64]
  • Oral Mucositis in Children [65]
  • Pancreatic Cancer [66-68]
  • Postoperative Inflammation [69]
  • Prediabetic Type 2 Diabetes [70]
  • Prostate Carcinogenesis, curcumin with isoflavones [71]
  • Psoriasis [72-73]
  • Radiation Dermatitis in Breast Cancer Patients [74]
  • Smoldering Multiple Myeloma (SMM) [75]
  • Sulphur Mustard-Induced Chronic Pruritus [76-77]
  • Type 2 Diabetes [78]
  • Ulcerative Colitis, curcumin with sulfasalazine or mesalamine [79-80]
  • Vitiligo, a tetrahydro-curcuminoid cream with UV-B phototherapy [81]
  • Wound Healing [82]

No Evidence:


No Clinical Research:

All other conditions.


Side Effects
Side effects may include:
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Gassiness
  • Gastrointestinal Upset
Precautions and Adverse Events:
  • Avoid if you have bile duct diseases, bleeding disorders, gallbladder diseases (such as, gallstones), hyperacidity, or stomach ulcers.
  • Curcumin stains clothes, surfaces, and the skin.
  • A study found that turmeric does not affect iron absorption; however, the main compound in turmeric, curcumin, induced-iron deficiency anemia in mice.
  • A patient had non-immune anaphylaxis reaction after taking dextran sulphate cellulose adsorption (Liposorber) with turmeric, which contains curcumin.
  • Ingestion of curcumin appears to have no adverse impact on patient-reported outcomes after stapled hemorrhoidectomy.
  • Extended use or high doses, including overdoses, of curcumin can cause gastrointestinal problems.
  • Curcumin can cause contact urticaria (redness and swelling of the skin) and contact dermatitis.
  • There was a case of curcumin causing transient complete atrioventricular block.
  • A curcumin vaginal cream caused vaginal irritation and itching.
  • Overall, curcumin appears to be a safe natural medicine.
  • Curcumin may be safe for cancer patients.
[87-101]


Pregnant or Nursing

There is not enough research on the use of curcumin during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use or avoid use. However, research with turmeric, which contains curcumin, has been shown to cause miscarriages or premature births. Therefore, curcumin may be responsible for turmeric’s menstrual and uterine stimulant properties. To be safe, avoid using curcumin during pregnancy. [87-101]



Interactions

Major

  • CYP1A2 (inhibits) and CYP2A6 (enhances)
  • Dextran Sulphate Cellulose Adsorption (Liposorber)
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Talinolol
[102-112]

Moderate

  • Warfarin
  • Anti-Coagulants
  • Anti-Platelet Drugs
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Salicylates
  • Thrombolytic Agents
[102-112]

Potential

  • Immunosuppressant Drugs
  • Iron-Containing Products
  • Turmeric may NOT interact with Flurbiprofen, Midazolam, Paracetamol, and Nifedipine
[102-112]


Dosage

Curcumin is not a "drug", the best doses have not been thoroughly established. Make sure to follow the specific product instructions and take as directed on the label or consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use.



Compounds
Curcumin compounds


References

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