Curcumin is a natural compound polifenolowy derived from the rhizome, otherwise known as a perennial. Is a plant from the ginger family, showing a wide range of biological activities. It is grown in India, China and South-East Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Viet Nam and the Philippines).
Due to the taste and color of turmeric in Europe it was called Indian saffron. She found she used in Oriental cuisine, but also as a dye in the food industry and textile (it is Curcumin is responsible for the yellow color of turmeric). It was also used for the preservation of food. Is also a component of many spice mixtures.
In ancient Chinese medicine used to relieve indigestion and for the treatment of Bioorganic wounds and scars. Check also the stomach and liver ailments.
Now widely conducted studies show its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer. Stresses also the antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity. The beneficial effects of Curcumin partly explains the fact that it affects a variety of compounds, including proteins, enzymes, cytokines, transcription factors and growth factors.
Anti-inflammatory activity of Curcumin
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection, trauma or stress of different etiology. Chronic inflammation of varying severity is at the root of many diseases, m.in. cancer, atherosclerosis or obesity. Anti-inflammatory properties of Curcumin are associated with impaired activation nuclear transcription factor NF-κB. The proteins whose expression is regulated by NF-κB are Cytokines produced by several cell types (IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8), interferons, adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1) and some enzymes (COX-2, cyclooxygenase-2 and LOX-5, lipooksygenaza-5). It is understandable, therefore, that the inhibition of NF-κB reduces gene expression responsible for the formation of protein involved in the inflammation process.
Antioxidant effects of Curcumin
To the body to function properly, a balance must be kept between the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the removal of their antioxidant systems. In the conditions of homeostasis of the RFT are released in quantities of physiological and safe for the body’s cells and in this situation, are necessary to regulate many cellular processes. In turn, increased the production of RFT leads to the creation of oxidative stress and disorders in the correct functioning of the cell.
Curcumin as polifenol antioxidant properties has the ability to neutralize reactive oxygen species in the cell (RFT). In addition, it has the increase in the level of connection with strong antioxidant, glutathione.
Studies also indicate that Curcumin inhibits lipid oxidation (peroxidation). Lipid peroxidation is the process negatively, as a result of which are modified, damaged molecules lipids (lipid peroxides.). The beneficial effects of Curcumin as a protective factor against oxidation of lipids showed in preliminary clinical trials Ramírez-Boscá et al. The men aged 27-67 years, for a period of 45 days was administered 200 mg of water-alcohol extract containing kurkuminę. As a result of this supplementation is observed a significant decrease in lipid peroxides in the blood test. Importantly, the researchers found no side effects to be used, such as liver damage. In the next stage of the research carried out by the same team assessed the impact of the 60-day administration of Curcumin, m.in. the level of oxidized LDL, and has been shown to 25-50% decrease in lipid peroxides in LDL.