Turmeric Extract Provides Antioxidant Activity and More

A review of curcumin was published in the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology journal. Curcumin is a yellow pigment and a major component of turmeric, which is commonly used as a spice and food-coloring agent. It is also used as a cosmetic and in some medical preparations. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant known to reduce oxidative damage of DNA and proteins. Because of these actions, curcumin is thought to have potential therapeutic benefits in diseases associated with oxidative damage such as certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Anti-inflammatory characteristics of curcumin were also reviewed. Curcumin is known to inhibit many important enzymes systems associated with inflammation. Malfunction of these enzyme systems is linked to tumor production and several inflammatory disorders. Due to its potential benefits associated with cancer prevention, much research has been devoted to curcumin (and other extracts of turmeric) over the past few decades. In the current review, researchers describe both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, its mode of action, and its therapeutic usage against different pathological conditions.

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-25