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Curcumin in plasma and urine: quantitation by high-performance liquid chromatography.

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UCSD Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, 9500 Gilman Drive, Dept. 0901, San Diego, 92093-0901, La Jolla, CA, USA.


Curcumin, a derivative of the plant Curcuma longa, is used extensively in the food industry. It is a major component of curry powder, and research has shown that curcumin may prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. We have developed a robust automated analytical method for the determination of curcumin in plasma and urine. The method involves extracting the curcumin from 0.2 ml sample volume with ethyl acetate/methanol organic solvents, and use of an internal standard, beta-17-estradiol acetate. Analysis utilizes a reversed-phase C(18) column and UV detection at 262 nm. Performance characteristics have been assessed. The assay is linear from 0.2 to 7.0 microgram/ml. The coefficient of variation for intra- and inter-day assays is <7.5%. The average recovery of curcumin from plasma and urine is greater than 96%. The data presented in this report demonstrate that the method provides rapid, sensitive, precise and accurate measurements of curcumin concentrations in plasma and urine.

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