Curcumin in Food

Living reference work entry


Curcumin is the major bioactive constituent of turmeric (Curcuma longa L., Zingiberaceae) rhizome. Turmeric has been used as spice and dye but also in the traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for the treatment of respiratory ailments, wounds, gastrointestinal complaints, hepatic disorders, and cardiovascular disease. Numerous studies reported curcumin as an important pleiotropic agent, with anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, chemopreventive, and anticancer activities. These effects have been demonstrated both in vitro and in experimental animal models, thus paving the way for various clinical trials. The latter investigated different curcumin-based formulations, including highly bioavailable formulations showing their efficacy in central nervous system, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, liver, and metabolic diseases. Benefits in certain malignant diseases were also reported. Curcumin is marketed worldwide as dietary supplement and herbal medicine, as cosmetic product, or as food additive. Curcumin possesses a good safety profile. Chemical features of curcumin, bioactivity and mechanisms of activity, safety profile, patents, and marketed products are summarized in this chapter. As literature on the topic of curcumin has known an exponential growth, reports cited in this chapter should be considered as illustrative rather than comprehensive.


Curcumin Curcuma longa Turmeric Bioavailability Anti-inflammatory Neuroprotective Chemopreventive Curcumin formulations 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of PharmacyGrigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy IasiIasiRomania

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