Curcumin and your skin
Inflammation, aging, oxidative damage, cellulite
Curcumin, found in turmeric (curcuma longa), is one of the most widely researched natural actives known today, with potent anti-ageing, antioxidant, skin lightening, anti-inflammatory and lipolytic activity. Curcumin is therefore of great importance as an active ingredient in anti-ageing, anti-cellulite, leg wellness, contouring, skin whitening and under-eye creams [the Celluence® creams are the only cellulite creams in the world with high concentrations of 95%+ pure curcumin, plus 39x other natural anti-cellulite actives].
Curcumin / Turmeric: the science
Curcumin blocks the growth of new fat cells [in-vivo study]
This new study shows that curcumin represses the differentiation of adipocytes by inhibiting the protein miR-17-5p and by stimulating the Wnt signalling pathway, which is known to inhibit adipocyte growth. This is in addition to multiple other studies which show the anti-adipogenic and/or lipolytic potential of curcumin [Source: Curcumin represses mouse 3T3-L1 cell adipogenic differentiation via inhibiting miR-17-5p and stimulating the Wnt signalling pathway effector Tcf7l2]
Curcumin: the natural anti-inflammatory from turmeric now shows to reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms
Previous studies have found that "curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and clinical benefits in cancer and asthma".
In this recently published randomized, double-blind study, 241 patients with hayfever received either placebo or oral curcumin for 2 months and the study showed that curcumin improved hayfever symptoms (sneezing, drippy nose and nasal congestion( by reducing airflow resistance through the nasal passages.
Curcumin achieved that by reducing swelling of the nose mucous membranes, due to reduced histamine production / inflammation, which in turn was due to curcumin's diverse immunomodulatory (immune balancing) effects.
Specifically, curcumin suppressed the inflammatory proteins IL-4, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF alpha) and increased production of the immunomodulatory protein IL-10 and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule.
As a conclusion, the study authors note that "this pilot study provides the first evidence of the capability of curcumin of improving nasal airflow and modulating immune response in patients with allergic rhinitis".
- Paper: Effect of curcumin on nasal symptoms and airflow in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common disorder that can significantly affect patient quality of life. Previous studies have found that curcumin had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and clinical benefits in cancer and asthma. OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of curcumin in the treatment of AR and to explore the molecular mechanisms involved. METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind study, 241 patients with AR received either placebo or oral curcumin for 2 months. The therapeutic effects of curcumin were evaluated by nasal symptoms and nasal airflow resistance. In addition, the production of interferon γ, interleukin (IL) 4, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor α from mononuclear cells and IL-8, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule, polyethylene glycol 2, and leukotriene C4 from polymorphonuclear neutrophils were compared before and after curcumin treatment. RESULTS: Curcumin alleviated nasal symptoms (sneezing and rhinorrhea) and nasal congestion through reduction of nasal airflow resistance. Curcumin was found to exert diverse immunomodulatory effects, including suppression of IL-4, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor α and increased production of IL-10 and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule. However, curcumin did not affect the release of prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene C4 from polymorphonuclear neutrophils. CONCLUSION: This pilot study provides the first evidence of the capability of curcumin of improving nasal airflow and modulating immune response in patients with AR.
- Link: http://www.annallergy.org/article/S1081-1206(16)31054-7/abstract
Fighting norovirus with curcumin and resveratrol
Curcumin and, to a lesser extent, resveratrol inhibit were the two most potent plant chemicals against norovirus, the diarrhoea and vomiting-causing stomach bug, also known as the "cruise ship" virus.
Curcumin is found in the indian spice turmeric, while resveratrol is found in grapes and berries. The two phytochemicals were found to inhibit norovirus infectivity in the lab by 91% and 80%, respectively. The anti-noroviral effect of curcumin was verified to increase as dose increased.
In closing, the authors suggest that curcumin "may be a promising candidate for development as an anti-noroviral agent to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness".
- Curcumin Shows Antiviral Properties against Norovirus.
- Abstract: Phytochemicals provide environmentally friendly and relatively inexpensive natural products, which could potentially benefit public health by controlling human norovirus (HuNoV) infection. In this study, 18 different phytochemicals were evaluated for antiviral effects against norovirus using murine norovirus (MNV) as a model for norovirus biology. Among these phytochemicals, curcumin (CCM) was the most potent anti-noroviral phytochemical, followed by resveratrol (RVT). In a cell culture infection model, exposure to CCM or RVT for 3 days reduced infectivity of norovirus by 91% and 80%, respectively. To confirm the antiviral capability of CCM, we further evaluated its antiviral efficacy at various doses (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, and 2 mg/mL) and durations (short-term: 10, 30, 60, and 120 min; long-term: 1, 3, 7, and 14 days). The anti-noroviral effect of CCM was verified to occur in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of each phytochemical on the replication of HuNoV using a HuNoV replicon-bearing cell line (HG23). Neither CCM nor RVT had a strong inhibitory effect on HuNoV replication, which suggests that their antiviral mechanism may involve viral entry or other life cycle stages rather than the replication of viral RNA. Our results demonstrated that CCM may be a promising candidate for development as an anti-noroviral agent to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness.
- Link: http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/10/1401
- Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is one of the most important pro-inflammatory protein the body
- Curcumin, the active ingredient in the Indian spice turmeric, is a well-known anti-inflammatory natural molecule
- A new paper published this month examined the anti-inflammatory action of curcumin and concluded that there are numerous studies demonstrating that the anti-inflammatory action of curcumin is due to blocking the action of IL-6
- Curcumin is taken as a supplement and also as an active ingredient in advanced skincare creams
- Source: Curcumin: An effective inhibitor of interleukin-6.
- Abstract: Curcumin is apolyphenolic compound found in the dietary spice turmeric. Anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric have been known for centuries and extensive studies over the last two to three decades revealed that curcumin is a key component in the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. Chronic inflammation is involved in the various pathologic states and curcumin demonstrated therapeutic effects in different inflammation-related diseases in various in vivo, in vitro and human based studies through regulation of different signaling molecules including transcription factors, chemokines, cytokines, tumor suppressor genes, adhesion molecules and microRNAs. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) plays important roles in various events during inflammation including regulation of antibody (and autoantibody) production, activation of T cells, differentiation of B cells, increased production of acute-phase proteins, hematopoiesis and angiogenesis, vascular permeability, and osteoclast differentiation. IL-6 is also involved in pathogenesis of different inflammatory diseases. There are numerous studies demonstrating association of down-regulation of IL-6 and/or inhibition of IL-6 signaling with therapeutic effects of curcumin suggesting a role for modulation of IL-6 in anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin. Moreover, curcumin can be considered as potential therapy against IL-6 involved pathologic stats. In this narrative review, the in vitro, experimental and clinical studies that report association of IL-6 inhibition and therapeutic effects of curcumin are discussed.
Orange cancels blue
Photographers know all too well that adding a yellow/orange filter on a lens or in front of lighting corrects bluish light, producing clean whites, greys and blacks, Also, they know that combining yellow light with blue light also produces white light. So in Physics yellow/orange cancels blue.
Now, a new clinical study has shown that the yellow/orange spices turmeric (source of curcumin) and saffron do indeed improve depression scores, especially in atypical depression :)
1000mg a day of curcumin ease the blues
This 12-week quality (randomised, double-blind & placebo-controlled) study on 123 individuals with major depressive disorder has shown that low-dose curcumin (500mg/day), high-dose curcumin (1000mg/day) or low-dose curcumin combined with 30mg/day of saffron, all reduced depressive symptoms to the same extent.
In the past "several studies have supported the antidepressant effects of curcumin (from the spice turmeric) and saffron for people with major depressive disorder, however, these studies have been hampered by poor designs, small sample sizes, short treatment duration, and similar intervention dosages", the authors of the study state.
Atypical depression and curcumin
Furthermore, the study has shown that curcumin and saffron had greater efficacy (65%) in people with atypical depression compared to the remainder of patients (35% efficacy).
"Atypical depression, or depression with atypical features, is depression that shares many of the typical symptoms of the psychiatric syndromes major depression or dysthymia but is characterized by improved mood in response to positive events. In contrast, people with melancholic depression generally do not experience an improved mood in response to normally pleasurable events. Atypical depression also features significant weight gain or an increased appetite, hypersomnia, a heavy sensation in the limbs and interpersonal rejection sensitivity that results in significant social or occupational impairment."
In a nutshell, if your depression is eased by positive events, chances are that curcumin can help. And the good news is that at doses of 500-1000mg (the typical does found in supplements today) it can not do any harm either.
If you suffer from other types of depression, trying curcumin is still a good idea, but may not be as effective.
Turmeric itself may not be enough
"Curcumin is one of the many curcuminoids, present in turmeric. Turmeric contains approximately 2% curcumin, so a teaspoon of turmeric, which weighs 2 grams, contains about 60mg curcumin."
Given that for this study 500-1000mg of curcumin per day were used, one has to consume 25-50g of turmeric powder to achieve the same results. This is a huge amount of turmeric to take every day - expect to be fed up of it in days and your teeth to become all yellow...
So by all means, keep adding turmeric to your food, but to replicate the results of this study you will most probably need a curcumin supplement.
On the other hand, given curcumin's poor bioavailability, one would have to use much less liposomal curcumin or other enhanced bioavailability curcumin form.
Saffron may not be entirely necessary
This study showed that 500mg curcumin, 1000mg curcumin and 500mg curcumin + 30mg saffron all have the same effect, which means that most probably saffron is not the main component, as curcumin by itself was equally effective to the combination of curcumin and saffron.
This study has shown that curcumin works well independent of saffron in depression, but future studies focusing on saffron may shed more light in the effectiveness of saffron against depression.
How could curcumin alleviate depression?
This study did not look into the mechanism by which curcumin alleviates depression, but in the past curcumin has also been proven potentially helpful in mental health conditions, including Alzheimers disease, by preventing nerve damage, via oxidative damage / inflammation inhibition.
Curcumin is well-known for it's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and overall anti-ageing action, and these two properties are most probably the reasons behind it's effectiveness in alleviating depression.
- Paper: Efficacy of curcumin, and a saffron/curcumin combination for the treatment of major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: Several studies have supported the antidepressant effects of curcumin (from the spice turmeric) and saffron for people with major depressive disorder. However, these studies have been hampered by poor designs, small sample sizes, short treatment duration, and similar intervention dosages. Furthermore, the antidepressant effects of combined curcumin and saffron administration are unknown. METHODS: In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 123 individuals with major depressive disorder were allocated to one of four treatment conditions, comprising placebo, low-dose curcumin extract (250mg b.i.d.), high-dose curcumin extract (500mg b.i.d.), or combined low-dose curcumin extract plus saffron (15mg b.i.d.) for 12 weeks. The outcome measures were the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-rated version (IDS-SR30) and Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). RESULTS: The active drug treatments (combined) were associated with significantly greater improvements in depressive symptoms compared to placebo (p=.031), and superior improvements in STAI-state (p<.001) and STAI-trait scores (p=.001). Active drug treatments also had greater efficacy in people with atypical depression compared to the remainder of patients (response rates of 65% versus 35% respectively, p=.012). No differences were found between the differing doses of curcumin or the curcumin/saffron combination. LIMITATIONS: Investigations with larger sample sizes are required to examine the efficacy of differing doses of curcumin and saffron/curcumin combination. Its effects in people with atypical depression also require examination in larger scale studies. CONCLUSIONS: Active drug treatments comprising differing doses of curcumin and combined curcumin/saffron were effective in reducing depressive and anxiolytic symptoms in people with major depressive disorder.
- Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory disease which leads to cartilage destruction and consequent pain and reduced joint range of movement and mobility
- For this reason natural chemicals with anti-inflammatory properties are of great interest
- Curcumin is the most well-researched "anti-inflammatory" phytochemical (plant chemical)
- Multiple studies have shown it's beneficial effect in different inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory skin conditions and overall ageing.
- A review paper published this week reported that "patients with osteoarthritis showed improvement in pain, physical function, and quality of life after taking curcumin" and that they reported reduced need for pain medication and reduced side effects during treatment
- Curcumin works by:
- preventing cartilage cell death (chondrocyte apoptosis)
- blocking the same proteins anti-inflammatory medications block, namely COX2 and PGE2
- inhibiting the release of inflammatory cytokines in cartilage tissue
- inhibiting a group of enzymes called metalloproteinases (MMPs) which break down cartilage tissue
- Curcumin is a safe, multifunctional natural chemical with already well described anti-inflammatory action and more and more laboratory and clinical studies are performed on the effect of curcumin and it's derivatives on inflammation, cancer, fibrosis, oxidative damage and other areas of interest
- Source: The spice for joint inflammation: anti-inflammatory role of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis.
- Abstract: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joint affecting aging populations worldwide. It has an underlying inflammatory cause, which contributes to the loss of chondrocytes, leading to diminished cartilage layer at the affected joints. Compounds with anti-inflammatory properties are potential treatment agents for osteoarthritis. Curcumin derived from Curcuma species is an anti-inflammatory compound as such. This review aims to summarize the antiosteoarthritic effects of curcumin derived from clinical and preclinical studies. Many clinical trials have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of curcumin in osteoarthritic patients. Extracts of Curcuma species, curcuminoids and enhanced curcumin, were used in these studies. Patients with osteoarthritis showed improvement in pain, physical function, and quality of life after taking curcumin. They also reported reduced concomitant usage of analgesics and side effects during treatment. In vitro studies demonstrated that curcumin could prevent the apoptosis of chondrocytes, suppress the release of proteoglycans and metal metalloproteases and expression of cyclooxygenase, prostaglandin E-2, and inflammatory cytokines in chondrocytes. These were achieved by blocking the activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) system in the chondrocytes, by preventing the activation of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha, phosphorylation, and translocation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB complexes into the nucleus. In conclusion, curcumin is a potential candidate for the treatment of osteoarthritis. More well-planned randomized control trials and enhanced curcumin formulation are required to justify the use of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis.
- Dietary polyphenols are beneficial plant chemicals found in fruit, herbs and vegetables, which are known primarily from their antioxidant action
- Most importantly, however, different polyphenols also exert anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, metabolic and anti-obesity action on the human body
- In fact, scientists now know that it is not the antioxidant action that is important in polyphenols but the action on inflammation and metabolism
- EGCG (from green tea), resveratrol (found in berries), quercetin (found in onions), curcumin (from turmeric), catechins (in cocoa), epicatechins (in pine bark and grape seeds), proanthocyanidins (e.g. in cranberries), and myricetin (found in fruit) are some of the most "famous" polyphenols
- A review published in 2014 reports that thousands of cell, tissue, animal and human studies in the last few years have shown the beneficial effects of polyphenols on health, and specifically in metabolic disorders and obesity
- Cell studies show that dietary polyphenols fight fat in multiple ways. They:
- Reduce the life span of adipocytes (fat cells)
- Reduce fat cell growth
- Inhibit the capacity of fat cells to accumulate fat
- Reduce fat cell proliferation
- Stimulate lipolysis (fat breakdown and release from fat cells)
- Boost energy expenditure / fat oxidation ("fat burning") outside fat cells
- Stimulate thermogenesis (fat burning inside fat cells)
- Inhibit adipose tissue inflammation within and outside adipose tissue
- Fight oxidative damage within and outside fat tissue
- Fight metabolic dysfunction within and outside adipose tissue
- Reduce high glucose levels, triglycerides, cholesterol and glycation
- "Animal studies strongly suggest that commonly consumed polyphenols have a pronounced effect on obesity as shown by lower body weight, fat mass and triglycerides through enhancing energy expenditure and fat utilization, and modulating glucose homeostasis"
- "On the other hand, human studies are more limited and are more inconsistent about the anti-obesity impact of dietary polyphenols probably due to the various study designs and lengths, variation among subjects (age, gender, ethnicity), chemical forms of the dietary polyphenols used and confounding factors such as other weight-reducing agents", the study authors state
- However, our experience of reviewing such studies in the last decade shows that polyphenols are more effective on cell cultures, tissues and animals are more effective simply because of the much higher dosage than used on humans, which is quite often one or two orders of magnitude greater
- Nevertheless, the general trend with the use of polyphenols in human trials is towards a healthier metabolic profile and reduced fat accumulation, obesity and it's complications, even with normal, dietary intakes or with reasonably increased intakes in the form of supplements etc.
- However, polyphenols could be much more beneficial at local level, i.e. for spot fat / cellulite reduction than it is for whole body level. This is because whole body weight loss depends too much on food intake and exercise and because very high intake of polyphenols at whole body level is practically impossible and possibly unhealthy
- Clearly, high-concentration topical application, similar to that seen in cell, tissue and animal studies makes much more sense, and is a trend seen in quality cosmeceuticals recently, including anti-ageing and cellulite creams
- In all cases, more "randomised controlled trials are warranted to reconcile the discrepancies between preclinical efficacies and inconclusive clinic outcomes of these polyphenols", as the study authors report.
- Source: Novel insights of dietary polyphenols and obesity.
- Abstract: The prevalence of obesity has steadily increased over the past three decades both in the United States and worldwide. Recent studies have shown the role of dietary polyphenols in the prevention of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases. Here, we evaluated the impact of commonly consumed polyphenols, including green tea catechins, especially epigallocatechin gallates, resveratrol and curcumin, on obesity and obesity-related inflammation. Cellular studies demonstrated that these dietary polyphenols reduce viability of adipocytes and proliferation of preadipocytes, suppress adipocyte differentiation and triglyceride accumulation, stimulate lipolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation, and reduce inflammation. Concomitantly, the polyphenols modulate signaling pathways including the adenosine-monophosphate-activated protein kinase, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α, peroxisome proliferator activator receptor gamma activator 1-alpha, sirtuin 1, sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c, uncoupling proteins 1 and 2, and nuclear factor-κB that regulate adipogenesis, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses. Animal studies strongly suggest that commonly consumed polyphenols described in this review have a pronounced effect on obesity as shown by lower body weight, fat mass and triglycerides through enhancing energy expenditure and fat utilization, and modulating glucose hemostasis. Limited human studies have been conducted in this area and are inconsistent about the antiobesity impact of dietary polyphenols probably due to the various study designs and lengths, variation among subjects (age, gender, ethnicity), chemical forms of the dietary polyphenols used and confounding factors such as other weight-reducing agents. Future randomized controlled trials are warranted to reconcile the discrepancies between preclinical efficacies and inconclusive clinic outcomes of these polyphenols.
- In a study published today it was found that the turmeric extract curcumin reduces fat pad weights, including deep abdominal fat
- Leptin, a hormone whose increased secretion leads to a host of metabolic problems, was decreased with curcumin, while fat cell hormones involved in lipolysis (fat release from fat cells) ATGL and HSL were increased
- This paper adds to the already extensive body of evidence about curcumin's anti-obesity and metabolic regulating benefits
- Curcumin is clearly an ideal anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, lipolytic and anti-cellulite cream active
- Source: Korean Curcuma longa L. induces lipolysis and regulates leptin in adipocyte cells and rats.
- Abstract: BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) has been reported to have many biological functions including anti-obesity. Leptin, peptide hormone produced by adipocytes and its concentration is increased in proportion to the amount of the adipocytes. In the present study, we examined the effects of Korean turmeric on the regulation of adiposity and leptin levels in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and rats fed a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet. MATERIALS/METHODS: Leptin secretion, free fatty acid and glycerol contents in 3T3-L1 adipocytes were measured after incubation of cells with turmeric for 24 hours. Rats were divided into four experimental groups: a normal diet group (N), a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet group (HF), a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet group supplemented with 2.5% turmeric extracts (TPA group) and a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet group supplemented with 5% turmeric extracts (TPB group). Serum samples were used for the measurement of leptin concentration. RESULTS: Contents of free fatty acid and glycerol showed concentration dependent increase in response to turmeric extracts. Effects of turmeric extracts on reduction of lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells were examined by Oil Red O staining. Treatment with turmeric extracts resulted in increased expression levels of adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase mRNA. The concentration of leptin from 3T3-L1 adipocytes was significantly decreased by turmeric. Proportional abdominal and epididymal fats weights of the turmeric 5% supplemented group, TPB has significantly decreased compared to the HF group. The serum levels of leptin in the TPA and TPB groups were significantly lower than those of the HF group. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these results, we suggested that Korean turmeric may contribute to the decreasing of body fat and regulating leptin secretion.
- Resveratrol, found in grapes, berries and red wine) and curcumin (found in turmeric) are proven anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-ageing natural molecules, but heir absorption and instability limit their clinical use.
- Liposomal and other enhanced absorption and stability forms are already sued in supplements and cosmetics with the combination of the two natural chemicals providing synergistic results.
- Now scientists have created hybrids of curcumin and resveratrol which possess increased anti-inflammatory activity and proved their efficacy on acute lung injury, hoping that these compounds can lead to the development of new drugs against inflammatory conditions.
- In the meantime, the stabilised forms of high purity resveratrol and curcumin already provide valuable anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits in a group of select skin care products, if used in high concentrations.
- Source: Development of resveratrol-curcumin hybrids as potential therapeutic agents for inflammatory lung diseases.
- Abstract: Acute lung injury (ALI) is a major cause of acute respiratory failure in critically-ill patients. Resveratrol and curcumin are proven to have potent anti-inflammatory efficacy, but their clinical application is limited by their metabolic instability. Here, a series of resveratrol and the Mono-carbonyl analogs of curcumin (MCAs) hybrids were designed and synthesized by efficient aldol construction strategy, and then screened for anti-inflammatory activities in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that the majority of analogs effectively inhibited the LPS-induced production of IL-6 and TNF-α. Five analogs, a9, a18, a19, a20 and a24 exhibited excellent anti-inflammatory activity in a dose-dependent manner along with low toxicity in vitro. Structure activity relationship study revealed that the electron-withdrawing groups at meta-position and methoxyl group (OCH3) at the para position of the phenyl ring were important for anti-inflammatory activities. The most promising compound a18 decreased LPS induced TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12, and IL-33 mRNA expression. Additionally, a18 significantly protected against LPS-induced acute lung injury in the in vivo mouse model. The research of resveratrol and MCAs hybrids could bring insight into the treatment of inflammatory diseases and compound a18 may serve as a lead compound for the development of anti-ALI agents.
- Curcumin is one of the many curcuminoids, present in turmeric. Turmeric contains approximately 2% curcumin, so a teaspoon of turmeric, which weighs 2.5 grams, contains about 50mg curcumin. In addition to curcumin, turmeric also contains smaller amounts of the curcuminoids, such as demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin.
- Given that most researchers recommend an average of 500-1000mg of curcumin/day, in order to gain the health benefits seen in studies, one has to consume 25-50g of turmeric powder, which is a quite large amount of turmeric to take every day - expect to be fed up of it in days and your teeth to become all yellow, forever...
- Definitely it does not make any sense to make a "turmeric smoothie" and expect any health benefits any time soon, although daily use for months will confer some health benefits. Personally, I would prefer to add the contents of a capsule of 95% curcumin (see below) into the drink, which is 50x more concentrated than turmeric itself. In this way I do not have to add 5-50g of turmeric into my drink in order to get 100-1000mg of pure curcumin.
- The same applies to home-made turmeric facial masks, one of the most ridiculous beauty fads: don't expect to get any anti-ageing results any time soon. And remember, the "jaundice look" is not very fashionable, neither your clothes look good in yellow stains.
- Due to low concentration of curcumin in turmeric, supplementation with curcumin capsules is recommended. Luckily, supplements with 95% pure curcumin have been available for years now and are easy to find and very economical, so two 500mg or one 1000mg capsules of 95% curcumin are all that are needed to reap the health benefits of curcumin.
- Curcumin is probably the most biologically active curcuminoid in turmeric, but not the most easily absorbed, hence the need for liposomal curcumin, curcumin combined with piperine, the use of other methods of absorption, or the use of the other curcumin analogs, such as the ones mentioned above.
- For this reason, some products contain curcumin in liposomal or other enhanced absorption form, which are proven to increase bioavailability by a factor of 10x or higher. In this case lower amounts of curcumin are needed - and provided - in the capsules.
- Certain curcumin derivatives are also used for local application in anti-ageing or anti-cellulite creams, for enhanced absorption and without the extreme yellowness.
- Like all other supplements, more is not always better, so stick to the 1000mg upper maximum daily intake and consult a health care practitioner if you suffer from any medical conditions or if you are pregnant/breast-feeding.
- In a new study published today it was shown that curcuminoids, the curcumin derivatives contained in the turmeric plant, combined with piperine, a pepper extract, reduce inflammatory markers in the blood in people who suffer from metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes)
- Specifically, the curcuminoid/piperine combination reduced levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of fat oxidation; increased the activity of the body's own natural antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD); and significantly reduced levels of the inflammatory protein C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a very important risk marker and risk factor of cardiovascular disease (people with metabolic syndrome have a very high risk of cardiovascular heart disease).
- This randomised, placebo controlled clinical trial on humans shows that even "short-term supplementation with a curcuminoid-piperine combination significantly improves oxidative and inflammatory status in patients with metabolic syndrome" and that "curcuminoids could be regarded as natural, safe and effective CRP-lowering agents."
- Curcumin is already widely researched, and widely used, for it's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer action, so the results of this study are hardly surprising and confirm what was shown in other studies, but in a clinical, randomised, placebo-controlled setup.
- It is important to note here that curcuminoids are the sole active agents that accomplish the beneficial effects in inflammation/oxidation status, with the piperine acting as an absorption enhancer.
- However, piperine is not absolutely necessary, as it enhances absorption only by a small factor, in contract to curcumin in liposome form, which is much more bioavailable, so our suggestion would be to use liposomal curcumin for maximum results.
- Source: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoid-piperine combination in subjects with metabolic syndrome: A randomised controlled trial and an updated meta-analysis.
- The same antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action of curcumin that helps with prevention of cardiovascular disease is also beneficial in anti-ageing and cellulite creams, if curcumin is included in a high-purity, high-concentration form.
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress and inflammation have been proposed as emerging components of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Curcuminoids are natural polyphenols with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. OBJECTIVE: To study the effectiveness of supplementation with a bioavailable curcuminoid preparation on measures of oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with MetS. Our secondary aim was to perform a meta-analysis of data from all randomized controlled trials in order to estimate the effect size of curcuminoids on plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations. METHODS: In this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 117 subjects with MetS (according to the NCEP-ATPIII diagnostic criteria) were randomly assigned to curcuminoids (n = 59; drop-outs = 9) or placebo (n = 58; drop-outs = 8) for eight weeks. Curcuminoids were administered at a daily dose of 1 g, and were co-supplemented with piperine (10 mg/day) in order to boost oral bioavailability. Serum activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA) and CRP were measured at baseline and at study end. Regarding the importance of CRP as a risk marker and risk factor of cardiovascular disease, a random-effects meta-analysis of clinical trials was performed to estimate the overall impact of curcuminoid therapy on circulating concentrations of CRP. The robustness of estimated effect size was evaluated using leave-one-out sensitivity analysis. RESULTS: Supplementation with curcuminoid-piperine combination significantly improved serum SOD activities (p < 0.001) and reduced MDA (p < 0.001) and CRP (p < 0.001) concentrations compared with placebo. Quantitative data synthesis revealed a significant effect of curcuminoids vs. placebo in reducing circulating CRP concentrations (weighed mean difference: -2.20 mg/L; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -3.96, -0.44; p = 0.01). This effect was robust in sensitivity analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term supplementation with curcuminoid-piperine combination significantly improves oxidative and inflammatory status in patients with MetS. Curcuminoids could be regarded as natural, safe and effective CRP-lowering agents.
- Comment: A new meta-analysis study has found that turmeric is as effective as medication in reduction of pain score in arthritis
- The meta analysis authors stated that the quality of the studies was generally good but more studies of larger sample sizes needs to be conducted for clearer evidence
- In the meantime, sufferers can take 1000mg/day of curcumin, a safe, and economical anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant supplement, while waiting for a few of decades for new studies too emerge...
- (Here it is important to note that turmeric has been used for millennia as a relief for inflammation and curcumin has been investigated for it's anti-inflammatory role in almost all human organs and tissues, from skin to bowel to brain)
- Source: Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.
- Abstract: Although turmeric and its curcumin-enriched extracts have been used for treating arthritis, no systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have been conducted to evaluate the strength of the research. We systemically evaluated all RCTs of turmeric extracts and curcumin for treating arthritis symptoms to elucidate the efficacy of curcuma for alleviating the symptoms of arthritis. Literature searches were conducted using 12 electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Korean databases, Chinese medical databases, and Indian scientific database. Search terms used were "turmeric," "curcuma," "curcumin," "arthritis," and "osteoarthritis." A pain visual analogue score (PVAS) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) were used for the major outcomes of arthritis. Initial searches yielded 29 articles, of which 8 met specific selection criteria. Three among the included RCTs reported reduction of PVAS (mean difference: -2.04 [-2.85, -1.24]) with turmeric/curcumin in comparison with placebo (P < .00001), whereas meta-analysis of four studies showed a decrease of WOMAC with turmeric/curcumin treatment (mean difference: -15.36 [-26.9, -3.77]; P = .009). Furthermore, there was no significant mean difference in PVAS between turmeric/curcumin and pain medicine in meta-analysis of five studies. Eight RCTs included in the review exhibited low to moderate risk of bias. There was no publication bias in the meta-analysis. In conclusion, these RCTs provide scientific evidence that supports the efficacy of turmeric extract (about 1000 mg/day of curcumin) in the treatment of arthritis. However, the total number of RCTs included in the analysis, the total sample size, and the methodological quality of the primary studies were not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions. Thus, more rigorous and larger studies are needed to confirm the therapeutic efficacy of turmeric for arthritis.
- Comment: The turmeric active curcumin stimulates skin cells' antioxidant, detoxification and DNA repair systems to protect against UV-B skin damage
- Source: Protective Effect of Curcumin Against Acute Ultraviolet B Irradiation Induced Photo-damage.
- Abstract: Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation is one of the most dangerous insults for skin, and causes sunburn, erythema, photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a yellow spice derived from dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa, has been shown to possess significant anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anticoagulant and anti-infective effects. However, the protective effects of curcumin against acute photo-damage are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the photo-protective effects of curcumin against UVB induced acute photo-damage in hairless mice and immortalized human keratinocytes (HaCaT). Topical application of curcumin significantly inhibited acute UVB (540 mJ/cm(2) , for 3 successive days)-induced inflammatory cells, collagen accrementition derangement and lipid peroxidation, and effectively induced NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) nuclear accumulation in Uncovered (Uncv) hairless mice skin. Treatment of HaCaT cells with curcumin significantly attenuated acute UVB (300 mJ/cm(2) )-induced lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and DNA damage, activated the expression of the phase II detoxifying enzymes and promoted DNA repair activity. The photoprotective effect provided by curcumin was potential associated with modulation of Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response. Our study suggested that curcumin is a potential agent for preventing and/or treating UV radiation induced acute inflammation and photoaging.
- Comment: Curcumin prevents - and to a lesser extent repairs - damage and toxicity caused by amyloid-beta on nerve cell mitochondria and synapses, thereby helping prevent and improve Alzheimer's disease
- Source: Protective effects of a natural product, curcumin, against amyloid β induced mitochondrial and synaptic toxicities in Alzheimer's disease.
- Abstract: The purpose of our study was to investigate the protective effects of a natural product-'curcumin'- in Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neurons. Although much research has been done in AD, very little has been reported on the effects of curcumin on mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics, function and synaptic activities. Therefore, the present study investigated the protective effects against amyloid β (Aβ) induced mitochondrial and synaptic toxicities. Using human neuroblastoma (SHSY5Y) cells, curcumin and Aβ, we studied the protective effects of curcumin against Aβ. Further, we also studied preventive (curcumin+Aβ) and intervention (Aβ+curcumin) effects of curcumin against Aβ in SHSY5Y cells. Using real time RT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analysis, we measured mRNA and protein levels, mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial biogenesis and synaptic genes. We also assessed mitochondrial function by measuring hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation, cytochrome oxidase activity and mitochondrial ATP. Cell viability was studied using the MTT assay. Aβ was found to impair mitochondrial dynamics, reduce mitochondrial biogenesis and decrease synaptic activity and mitochondrial function. In contrast, curcumin enhanced mitochondrial fusion activity and reduced fission machinery, and increased biogenesis and synaptic proteins. Mitochondrial function and cell viability were elevated in curcumin treated cells. Interestingly, curcumin pre- and post-treated cells incubated with Aβ showed reduced mitochondrial dysfunction, and maintained cell viability and mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial biogenesis and synaptic activity. Further, the protective effects of curcumin were stronger in pretreated SHSY5Y cells than in post-treated cells, indicating that curcumin works better in prevention than treatment in AD-like neurons. Our findings suggest that curcumin is a promising drug molecule to treat AD patients.
- Source: Wound Healing Effect of Curcumin: A Review.
- Abstract: Wound healing is a complex process that consists of several phases that range from coagulation, inflammation, accumulation of radical substances, to proliferation, formation of fibrous tissues and collagen, contraction of wound with formation of granulation tissue and scar. Since antiquity, vegetable substances have been used as phytotherapeutic agents for wound healing, and more recently natural substances of vegetable origin have been studied with the attempt to show their beneficial effect on wound treatment. Curcumin, the most active component of rhizome of Curcuma longa L. (common name: turmeric), has been studied for many years due to its bio-functional properties, especially antioxidant, radical scavenger, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities, which play a crucial role in the wound healing process. Moreover, curcumin stimulated the production of the growth factors involved in the wound healing process, and so curcumin also accelerated the management of wound restoration. The aim of the present review is collecting and evaluating the literature data regarding curcumin properties potentially relevant for wound healing. Moreover, the investigations on the wound healing effects of curcumin are reported. In order to produce a more complete picture, the chemistry and sources of curcumin are also discussed.
- Curcuma longa extract associated with white pepper lessens high fat diet-induced inflammation in subcutaneous adipose tissue.
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: Supra-nutritional doses of curcumin, derived from the spice Curcuma longa, have been proposed as a potential treatment of inflammation and metabolic disorders related to obesity. The aim of the present study was to test whether Curcuma longa extract rich in curcumin and associated with white pepper (Curcuma-P®), at doses compatible with human use, could modulate systemic inflammation in diet-induced obese mice. We questioned the potential relevance of changes in adiposity and gut microbiota in the effect of Curcuma-P® in obesity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Mice were fed either a control diet (CT), a high fat (HF) diet or a HF diet containing Curcuma longa extract (0.1 % of curcumin in the HF diet) associated with white pepper (0.01 %) for four weeks. Curcumin has been usually combined with white pepper, which contain piperine, in order to improve its bioavailability. This combination did not significantly modify body weight gain, glycemia, insulinemia, serum lipids and intestinal inflammatory markers. Tetrahydrocurcumin, but not curcumin accumulated in the subcutaneous adipose tissue. Importantly, the co-supplementation in curcuma extract and white pepper decreased HF-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines expression in the subcutaneous adipose tissue, an effect independent of adiposity, immune cells recruitment, angiogenesis, or modulation of gut bacteria controlling inflammation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings support that nutritional doses of Curcuma longa, associated with white pepper, is able to decrease inflammatory cytokines expression in the adipose tissue and this effect could be rather linked to a direct effect of bioactive metabolites reaching the adipose tissue, than from changes in the gut microbiota composition.
- Source: Curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin and turmerones differentially regulate anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative responses through a ROS-independent mechanism.
- Abstract: Curcumin, a component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), has been shown to exhibit chemopreventive activity. Whether analogs of curcumin (Cur), such as demethoxycurcumin (DMC), bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC), tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) and turmerones, modulate inflammatory signaling and cell proliferation signaling to same extent as curcumin was investigated. The results indicate that the relative potency for suppression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation was Cur > DMC > BDMC; thus suggesting the critical role of methoxy groups on the phenyl ring. THC, which lacks the conjugated bonds in the central seven-carbon chain, was completely inactive for suppression of the transcription factor. Turmerones also failed to inhibit TNF-induced NF-kappaB activation. The suppression of NF-kappaB activity correlated with inhibition of NF-kappaB reporter activity and with down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2, cyclin D1 and vascular endothelial growth factor, all regulated by NF-kappaB. In contrast to NF-kappaB activity, the suppression of proliferation of various tumor cell lines by Cur, DMC and BDMC was found to be comparable; indicating the methoxy groups play minimum role in the growth-modulatory effects of curcumin. THC and turmerones were also found to be active in suppression of cell growth but to a much lesser extent than curcumin, DMC and BDMC. Whether suppression of NF-kappaB or cell proliferation, no relationship of any of the curcuminoid was found with reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Overall, our results demonstrated that different analogs of curcumin present in turmeric exhibit variable anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activities, which do not correlate with their ability to modulate the ROS status.
- Source: Tetrahydrocurcumin confers protection against amyloid β-induced toxicity.
- Abstract: Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid β, a primary component of the amyloid plaques, is neurotoxic. Considerable attention has been directed toward identifying compounds with neuroprotective properties. Using rat primary hippocampal cultures, we show that tetrahydrocurcumin (THC), a metabolite of curcumin, shows a protective effect against oligomeric amyloid-β-induced toxicity. We further show that THC reduces amyloid-β-induced (i) increase in the level of reactive oxygen species, (ii) decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, and (iii) caspase activation. In addition, we show that THC protects human neurons from oligomeric amyloid-β-induced toxicity as well. Thus, THC confers protection against amyloid-β-induced toxicity, and the antioxidant activity may contribute to its protective effect.
- Source: Curcumin inhibits HIV-1 by promoting Tat protein degradation.
- Abstract: HIV-1 Tat is an intrinsically unfolded protein playing a pivotal role in viral replication by associating with TAR region of viral LTR. Unfolded proteins are degraded by 20S proteasome in an ubiquitin independent manner. Curcumin is known to activate 20S proteasome and promotes the degradation of intrinsically unfolded p53 tumor suppressor protein. Since HIV-1 Tat protein is largerly unfolded, we hypothesized that Tat may also be targeted through this pathway. Curcumin treated Tat transfected HEK-293T cells showed a dose and time dependent degradation of Tat protein. Contrary to this HIV-1 Gag which is a properly folded protein, remained unaffected with curcumin. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that curcumin treatment did not affect Tat gene transcription. Curcumin increased the rate of Tat protein degradation as shown by cycloheximide (CHX) chase assay. Degradation of the Tat protein is accomplished through proteasomal pathway as proteasomal inhibitor MG132 blocked Tat degradation. Curcumin also decreased Tat mediated LTR promoter transactivation and inhibited virus production from HIV-1 infected cells. Taken together our study reveals a novel observation that curcumin causes potent degradation of Tat which may be one of the major mechanisms behind its anti HIV activity.
- Source: Phytochemicals in regulating fatty acid β-oxidation: Potential underlying mechanisms and their involvement in obesity and weight loss.
- Abstract: Excessive accumulation of fat as the result of more energy intake and less energy expenditure is known as obesity. Lipids are essential components in the human body and are vital for maintaining homeostasis and physiological as well as cellular metabolism. Fatty acid synthesis and catabolism (by fatty acid oxidation) are normal part of basic fuel metabolism in animals. Fatty acids are degraded in the mitochondria by a biochemical process called β-oxidation in which two-carbon fragments are produced in each cycle. The increase in fatty acid oxidation is positively correlated with body mass index. Although healthy life style, avoiding Western diet, dieting and strenuous exercise are the commonly used methods to lose weight, they are not considered a permanent solution in addition to risk attenuation of in basal metabolic rate (BMR). Pharmacotherapy offers benefits of weight loss by altering the satiety and lowering absorption of fat from the food; however, its side effects may outweigh the benefits of weight loss. Alternatively, dietary phytochemicals and natural health products offer great potential as an efficient weight loss strategy by modulating lipid metabolism and/or increasing BMR and thermogenesis. Specifically, polyphenols such as citrus flavonoids, green tea epigallocatechin gallate, resveratrol, capsaicin and curcumin, have been reported to increase lipolysis and induce fatty acid β-oxidation through modulation of hormone sensitive lipase, acetyl-coA carboxylase, carnitine acyl transferase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1. In this review article, we discuss selected phytochemicals in relation to their integrated functionalities and specific mechanisms for weight loss.
- Source: Curcumin inhibits hyperlipidemia and hepatic fat accumulation in high-fructose-fed male Wistar rats.
- Abstract: CONTEXT: Curcumin, an active principal of Curcuma longa Linn. (Zingiberaceae), has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the effects of curcumin on hyperlipidemia and hepatic steatosis in high-fructose-fed Wistar rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty male Wistar rats were divided into four groups with 10 rats in each. Two groups were fed with standard rodent diet and the other two with 60% high-fructose diet for 10 weeks. Curcumin (200 mg/kg body weight) was administered along with the diets simultaneously to each of the aforementioned diet groups. After 10 weeks of experiment, blood samples were collected from tail vein. Liver, adipose and epididymal tissues were collected after sacrifice of the animals and stored for further analyses. RESULTS: Administration of curcumin reduced body weight (280.6 ± 7.4 g), liver weight (2.5 ± 0.2 g/100 g BW), adipose weight (1.4 ± 0.3 g/100 g BW), plasma levels of TAG (86.1 ± 13.5 mg/dL), VLDL-C (17.2 ± 2.7 mg/dL), lipid ratios and increased HDL-C (28.4 ± 4.5 mg/dL) in fructose-fed rats. Curcumin supplementation significantly lowered TAG content and decreased the protein expression of LXR-α (43%) and SREBP1c (59%) in the liver. Furthermore, curcumin suppressed the expression of lipogenic enzymes, ACLY (95%), ACC (50%) and FAS (77%) in rats fed with high-fructose diet. No significant change was found in the expression of PPAR-α. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Curcumin prevented the high-fructose induced hyperlipidemia and hepatic steatosis.
- Curcumin, the anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing and anti-cancer compound from turmeric, is well-known for it's anti-adipogenic / slimming activity and thereby it's usefulness in anti-cellulite creams
- Turmeric acts via various pathways to inhibit growth of fat cells and in a recent study yet one more fat accumulation inhibiting pathway has been discovered: turmeric inhibits glucose absorption by intestinal cells, by blocking the protein GLUT1
- This leads to blood sugar reduction and fat reduction and is in addition to turmeric's inhibiting effect on GLUT4, which blocks glucose absorption by fat cells
- The researchers state that due to the blockage of GLIT1 turmeric may also compromise cancer cells that depend on GLUT1 for glucose absorption
- Source: Curcumin directly inhibits the transport activity of GLUT1.
- Abstract: Curcumin, a major ingredient in turmeric, has a long history of medicinal applications in a wide array of maladies including treatment for diabetes and cancer. Seemingly counterintuitive to the documented hypoglycemic effects of curcumin, however, a recent report indicates that curcumin directly inhibits glucose uptake in adipocytes. The major glucose transporter in adipocytes is GLUT4. Therefore, this study investigates the effects of curcumin in cell lines where the major transporter is GLUT1. We report that curcumin has an immediate inhibitory effect on basal glucose uptake in L929 fibroblast cells with a maximum inhibition of 80% achieved at 75 μM curcumin. Curcumin also blocks activation of glucose uptake by azide, glucose deprivation, hydroxylamine, or phenylarsine oxide. Inhibition does not increase with exposure time and the inhibitory effects reverse within an hour. Inhibition does not appear to involve a reaction between curcumin and the thiol side chain of a cysteine residue since neither prior treatment of cells with iodoacetamide nor curcumin with cysteine alters curcumin's inhibitory effects. Curcumin is a mixed inhibitor reducing the Vmax of 2DG transport by about half with little effect on the Km. The inhibitory effects of curcumin are not additive to the effects of cytochalasin B and 75 μM curcumin actually reduces specific cytochalasin B binding by 80%. Taken together, the data suggest that curcumin binds directly to GLUT1 at a site that overlaps with the cytochalasin B binding site and thereby inhibits glucose transport. A direct inhibition of GLUT proteins in intestinal epithelial cells would likely reduce absorption of dietary glucose and contribute to a hypoglycemic effect of curcumin. Also, inhibition of GLUT1 activity might compromise cancer cells that overexpress GLUT1 and be another possible mechanism for the documented anticancer effects of curcumin.