Turmeric moves from the kitchen shelf to the clinic
The researchers state that although turmeric (Curcuma longa; an Indian spice) has been described in Ayurveda, as a treatment for inflammatory diseases and is referred by different names in different cultures, the active principle called curcumin or diferuloylmethane, a yellow pigment present in turmeric (an ingredient in curry powder) has been shown to exhibit numerous activities.
The researchers claim that various preclinical cell-culture and animal studies suggest that curcumin has potential as an antiproliferative, anti-invasive, and antiangiogenic agent; as a mediator of chemoresistance and radioresistance; as a chemopreventive agent; and as a therapeutic agent in wound healing, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and arthritis.
Pilot phase I clinical trials have shown curcumin to be safe even when consumed at a daily dose of 12 g for 3 months. Other clinical trials suggest a potential therapeutic role for curcumin in diseases such as familial adenomatous polyposis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, hypercholesteremia, atherosclerosis, pancreatitis, psoriasis, chronic anterior uveitis and arthritis.