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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Mar;14(1):22-7. doi: 10.1177/1074248408329608. Epub 2009 Jan 18.

Currying the heart: curcumin and cardioprotection.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205, USA.


Curcumin (diferuoylmethane) is the active ingredient of turmeric (curcuma longa). There has been a surge of research in its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, and its cardiovascular effects. A host of studies in in vitro and in vivo models of cardiac injury show that curcumin treatment reduces reactive oxygen species generation, monocyte adhesion to activated endothelial cells, and phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, p38 mitogen activated protein kinase and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3, and subsequent downstream signals. These alterations lead to preservation of myocardial function following ischemic or biochemical insult to the heart. Recent studies in models of pressure overload show that curcumin can reduce cardiac remodeling by altering reninangiotensin-system-transforming growth factor beta1 and collagen axis. Studies need to be done in humans to define the potential of curcumin in limitation of cardiac injury and preservation of cardiac function following ischemia.

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