Chapter

The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease

Volume 595 of the series ADVANCES IN EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY pp 105-125

ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES OF CURCUMIN

  • Venugopal P. Menon
  • , Adluri Ram Sudheer

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Abstract

Curcumin, a yellow pigment from Curcuma longa, is a major component of turmeric and is commonly used as a spice and food-coloring agent. It is also used as a cosmetic and in some medical preparations. The desirable preventive or putative therapeutic properties of curcumin have also been considered to be associated with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because free-radical-mediated peroxidation of membrane lipids and oxidative damage of DNAand proteins are believed to be associated with a variety of chronic pathological complications such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases, curcumin is thought to play a vital role against these pathological conditions.