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 cream

For all these reasons, curcumin is 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, high availability curcumin, plus 39x other natural anti-cellulite actives].



11+ ways Curcumin

can fight oxidative damage, inflammation, poor blood circulation, skin ageing and cellulite



Curcumin against advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and AGEs-induced detrimental agents

Abstract: OBJECTIVES:  This study was aimed to review and collate effects of curcumin on generation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and AGEs induced detrimental agents. METHODS: Pubmed, Googlescholar, ScienceDirect, and Scopus databases were searched. Searching was not limited to specific publication period. Only English language original articles (in vitro, experimental and human) which had examined the effect of curcumin on AGEs formation and AGEs induced apoptosis, oxidative stress or inflammatory responses were included. To review effect of curcumin on AGEs formation, search terms were as following: ''curcumin" (title) and AGEs or pentosidine or methylglyoxal or carboxymethyllysine or glucosylation (title/abstract). Totally 104 articles were searched which 19 were selected for review. To review effect of curcumin on AGEs induced harmful agents, key words were as following: "curcumin" (title) and AGEs (title/abstract) and apoptosis or oxidative stress or DNA damage or cell injury or inflammatory or cell death or cell proliferation (title/abstract). Totally 126 articles were searched which 18 were found appropriate for review. RESULTS:  Regarding curcumin and AGEs formation, ten eligible articles (1 human trial, 5 animal models and 4 in vitro) and with regarding curcumin and AGEs-induced complications, 17 articles (5 on apoptosis, 9 on oxidative stress, and 3 on inflammatory responses) were selected. Except one, all studies indicated that curcumin is able to prevent AGEs formation and AGEs-induced disturbances with different potential mechanisms. CONCLUSION:  Curcumin can inhibit AGEs formation and AGEs-induced disturbances. More RCT researches are suggested to evaluate beneficial effect of curcumin regarding AGEs in different age-related chronic diseases, with specific attention to AGEs memberships.


Effects of curcumin and curcumin analogues on TRP channels

A series of 33 curcumin analogues was synthesized and tested on TRPA1, TRPM8, and TRPV1 channels. Twenty of them acted as good modulators of TRPA1 channels. None was able to significantly activate TRPM8 channels, while curcumin itself and six curcuminoids belonging to the 1,3-dicarbonyl and acyclic series behaved as 'true' antagonists with IC50 values<5μM. Only few curcuminoids were able to modulate TRPV1 channels with EC50 and IC50 values ranging from 3.4 and 6.0μM.



Immune Modulation by Curcumin: The Role of Interleukin-10.

Abstract: Cytokines are small secreted proteins released by different types of cells with specific effects on cellular signaling and communication via binding to their receptors on the cell surface. IL-10 is known to be a pleiotropic and potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive cytokine that is produced by both innate and adaptive immunity cells including dendritic cells, macrophages, mast cells, natural killer cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, B cells, CD8(+) T cells, and TH1, TH2, and TH17 and regulatory T cells. Both direct and indirect activation of the stress axis promotes IL-10 secretion. IL-10 deregulation plays a role in the development of a large number of inflammatory diseases such as neuropathic pain, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and allergy. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory compound able to induce the expression and production of IL-10 and enhancing its action on a large number of tissues. In vitro and in pre-clinical models curcumin is able to modulate the disease pathophysiology of conditions such as pain and neurodegenerative diseases, bowel inflammation, and allergy, but also of infections and cancer through its effect on IL-10 secretion. In humans, at least one part of the positive effects of curcumin on health could be related to its ability to enhance IL-10 -mediated effects.



8/ 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 β-oxidation is negatively 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 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.



7/ Novel curcumin - hyaluronic acid conjugate molecule improves curcumin's wound healing and antioxidant activity

Curcumin is a promising wound healing agent but its clinical application is limited due to being undiluted to water and lack of stability. However, curcumin conjugated to hyaluronic acid, has been found to be better than curcumin for fighting free radical damage and wound healing than plain curcumin.

[Source: Wound healing activity of curcumin conjugated to hyaluronic acid: in vitro and in vivo evaluation]



6/ Curcumin is a stronger and broader anti-inflammatory than the steroid drug prednisolone...

...allowing it to combat numerous inflammatory diseases via multiple pathways (TNF-α and IL-6 expression by macrophages, IL-8 expression by colon epithelial cells, ROS production in polymorphonuclear leukocytes and platelet activation in whole blood). Specifically, curcumin is as good inhibitor as prednisolone for TNF-alpha and IL-6 and better than prednisolone for ROS, IL-8 and fibrinogen binding.


[Source: Head-to-Head Comparison of Anti-Inflammatory Performance of Known Natural Products In Vitro]



5/ Curcumin significantly improves endothelial function...

...arterial compliance and arterial stiffness through its effects on inflammation, oxidative stress, nitric oxide bioavailability, and structural proteins of the artery

[Source: The Emerging Role of Curcumin for Improving Vascular Dysfunction: A Review]



4/ Curcumin helps burn fat by stimulating beige fat thermogenesis... stimulating beta-3 adrenoreceptor gene expression and elevating the levels of plasma norepinephrine, albeit at quite high concentrations (50-100mg/kg of body weight). However, curcumin has been found in other studies to have a direct lipolytic and anti-adipogenic action, via additional mechanisms to thermogenesis. So the results of this experiment further add to the promise of curcumin as an anti-obesity and anti-cellulite natural chemical.

[Source: Curcumin promotes browning of white adipose tissue in a norepinephrine-dependent way]



3/ Curcumin protects fat cells from hypoxia-induced inflammation and insulin resistance...

...via reducing inflammatory adipokine NF-kB and boosting adiponectin secretion. The researchers noted that hypoxia effects huge increases in basal adipocyte glucose uptake (3.3x), leptin (3x), resisting (6.8x) and TLR-4 (8.8x) and reduces adiponectin by reduced adiponectin by 66%.

[Source: Development of insulin resistance through sprouting of inflammatory markers during hypoxia in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and amelioration with curcumin]



2/ Curcumin PREVENTS MITOCHONDRIAl-dysfunction RELATED disease by...

...protecting mitochondria from oxidation; helping regulate mitochondrial metabolism; modulating cell death due to mitochondrial dysfunction

[Source: Dietary Polyphenols and Mitochondrial Function: Role in Health and Disease]



1/ 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]


1000mg/day of the turmeric extract curcumin as good as pain medication, study finds

  • 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.

curcumin protects fat cells from inflammation, helps fight cellulite

  • Dietary phytochemicals called polyphenols are known potent antioxidants that protect body tissues from free radical damage and consequent inflammation.
  • Inflammation and oxidative damage are key components of cellulite, as well as diabetes and several other so-called civilisation diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis.
  • Recent research has now looked into 28 polyphenols (such as hesperidin, resveratrol, epigallocatechin gallate and curcumin) and concluded that those polyphenols protect fat cells from both oxidative damage and inflammation, by reducing inflammatory hormones, such as IL-6.
  • This practically means that orally taken polyphenols (either as foods or as supplements) can be used in the fight against fat tissue inflammation for the prevention of diabetes and cellulite.
  • Polyphenols may also be used with local application in the fight against cellulite as active ingredients in an anti-cellulite cream. Naturally, the more of those polyphenols are present in the cream the better results are to be expected, due to a synergistic effect of using multiple ingredients.
  • Source: Evaluation of antioxidant properties of major dietary polyphenols and their protective effect on 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and red blood cells exposed to oxidative stress
  • Abstract: "Obesity has been associated with a marked risk of metabolic diseases and requires therapeutic strategies. Changes in redox status with increased oxidative stress in adipose tissue have been linked with obesity-related disorders. Thus, the biological effect of antioxidants such as polyphenols is of high interest. We aimed to measure antioxidant capacities of 28 polyphenols representative of main dietary phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes and curcuminoids. Then, 14 molecules were selected for the evaluation of their effect on 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and human red blood cells exposed to oxidative stress. Analysis of reducing and free radical-scavenging capacities of compounds revealed antioxidant properties related to their structure, with higher activities for flavonoids such as quercetin and epicatechin. Their effects on preadipocytes' viability also depended on their structure, dose and time of exposure. Interestingly, most of the compounds exhibited a protective effect on preadipocytes exposed to oxidative stress, by reversing H₂O₂-induced anti-proliferative action and reactive oxygen species production. Polyphenols also exerted an anti-inflammatory effect on preadipocytes exposed to H₂O₂ by reducing IL-6 secretion. Importantly, such antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects were observed in co-exposition (polyphenol and prooxidant during 24 h) or pretreatment (polyphenol during 24 h, then prooxidant for 24 h) conditions. Moreover, compounds protected erythrocytes from AAPH radical-induced lysis. Finally, these results led to demonstrate that antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols may depend on structure, dose, time of exposure and cell conditioning with oxidative stress. Such findings should be considered for a better understanding of polyphenols' benefits in strategies aiming to prevent obesity-related diseases."

How the turmeric extract curcumin fights inflammation in arthritis

  • 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.