A lecture by Dr Robert Buist.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent found in the curry spice, turmeric, at a level of about 3-5%. It is fast becoming a very important supplement in the field of Complementary Medicine.
It is hepatoprotective against chemicals, aflatoxin and bacterial endotoxin and activates detoxification enzymes.
Curcumin gives cardiovascular protection by preventing oxidation of cholesterol, LDL and VLDL while increasing levels of HDL. This causes a reduction in the processes involved with atherosclerosis and plaque formation. It is also used in the secondary management of Diabetes Mellitus.
It also inhibits prostanoid pathways, inhibits NF-kB, protects human chondrocytes and minimizes damage to cartilage. It protects human chondrocytes by dampening the effects of inflammatory cytokines.
It plays a role in the prevention of many different types of cancer by inhibiting cell growth and metastasis. New research has shown that it may also be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and Cystic Fibrosis where a defect can be corrected.
The importance of three different types of curcuminoids is discussed