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Food Chem Toxicol. 2019 Feb;124:182-191. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.12.002. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Mechanistic insights of hepatoprotective effects of curcumin: Therapeutic updates and future prospects.

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Department of Pharmacy, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, 23200, Pakistan. Electronic address:
Department of Pharmacy, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, 23200, Pakistan.
Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


The liver is the most essential organ of the body performing vital functions. Hepatic disorders affect the physiological and biochemical functions of the body. These disorders include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), liver cirrhosis, hepatic failure and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Drugs related hepatotoxicity is one of the major challenges facing by clinicians as it is a leading cause of liver failure. During post-marketing surveillance studies, detection and reporting of drug-induced hepatotoxicity may lead to drug withdrawal or warnings. Several mechanisms are involved in hepatotoxicity such as cell membrane disruption, initiating an immune response, alteration of cellular pathways of drug metabolism, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation and cell death. Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric and exhibits therapeutic potential for the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and various types of cancers. Curcumin is strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and thus it possesses hepatoprotective properties. Despite its low bioavailability, its hepatoprotective effects have been studied in various protocols of hepatotoxicity including acetaminophen, alcohol, lindane, carbon tetrachloride (CCL4), diethylnitrosamine and heavy metals induced hepatotoxicities. This report reviews the hepatoprotective effects of curcumin with a focus on its mechanistic insights in various hepatotoxic protocols.


Curcumin; Drug of future; Hepatoprotective; Mechanistic insights; Therapeutic role

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