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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Jan 11:1-53. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1552244. [Epub ahead of print]

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of curcumin in prevention and treatment of disease.

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a Department of Pharmacy , Sagar Institute of Research and Technology , Bhopal , India.
b Pharmacology Research Laboratory , University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University , Chandigarh , India.


Curcumin is a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound present in rhizome of Curcuma longa belonging to the family zingiberaceae. Growing experimental evidence revealed that curcumin exhibit multitarget biological implications signifying its crucial role in health and disease. The current review highlights the recent progress and mechanisms underlying the wide range of pharmacological effects of curcumin against numerous diseases like neuronal, cardiovascular, metabolic, kidney, endocrine, skin, respiratory, infectious, gastrointestinal diseases and cancer. The ability of curcumin to modulate the functions of multiple signal transductions are linked with attenuation of acute and chronic diseases. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have revealed that curcumin modulates several molecules in cell signal transduction pathway including PI3K, Akt, mTOR, ERK5, AP-1, TGF-β, Wnt, β-catenin, Shh, PAK1, Rac1, STAT3, PPARγ, EBPα, NLRP3 inflammasome, p38MAPK, Nrf2, Notch-1, AMPK, TLR-4 and MyD-88. Curcumin has a potential to prevent and/or manage various diseases due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic properties with an excellent safety profile. In contrast, the anti-cancer effects of curcumin are reflected due to induction of growth arrest and apoptosis in various premalignant and malignant cells. This review also carefully emphasized the pharmacokinetics of curcumin and its interaction with other drugs. Clinical studies have shown that curcumin is safe at the doses of 12 g/day but exhibits poor systemic bioavailability. The use of adjuvant like piperine, liposomal curcumin, curcumin nanoparticles and curcumin phospholipid complex has shown enhanced bioavailability and therapeutic potential. Further studies are warranted to prove the potential of curcumin against various ailments.


Curcumin; clinical trials; drug interaction; mechanism of action; pharmacokinetic; therapeutic use

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