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Turmeric: A spice with multifunctional medicinal properties


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Curcuma longa (Turmeric), belonging to Zingiberaceae family is one of the most useful herbal medicinal plants. Extensive researches have proven that most of the turmeric activities of the turmeric are due to curcumin. It has various useful properties with antioxidant activities and is useful in conditions such as inflammation, ulcer and cancer. It also has antifungal, antimicrobial renal and hepatoprotective activities. Therefore, it has the potential against various cancer, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic and hard curable diseases. The purpose of this review was to provide a brief summary of the new and current knowledge of the effects of curcumin. The recently published papers in international cites such as PubMed/Medline, Science Citation Index and Google Scholar about turmeric were searched. Recent studies have authenticated the use of turmeric for various diseases especially oxidative stress induced ones such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and inflammatory disorders. It also is used as hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, anticoagulant and anti-HIV to combat AIDS. Curcumin, as a spice, exhibits great promise as a therapeutic agent. It has very low toxicity, too. As the global scenario is now changing towards the use of non-toxic plant products having traditional medicinal use, development of modern drugs from turmeric should be emphasized for the control of various diseases. Further evaluation needs to be carried out on turmeric in order to explore the concealed areas and their practical clinical applications, which can be used for the welfare of mankind.
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Journal of HerbMed Pharmacology
Journal homepage:
J HerbMed Pharmacol. 2014; 3(1): 5-8.
Turmeric: A spice with multifunctional medicinal properties
*Corresponding author: Mahmoud Raeian-kopaei, Medical Plants
Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord,
Iran. E-mail: ra
Hamid Nasri1, Najmeh Sahinfard2, Mortaza Raeian3, Samira Raeian4, Maryam Shirzad5,
Mahmoud Raeian-kopaei2*
1Department of Internal Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2Medical Plants Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
3Isfahan Governer Oce, Isfahan, Iran
4Pharmaceutical Faculty, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
5Department of English Teaching, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran
Medicinal plants have provided a reliable source for
preparation of new drugs as well as combating diseases,
from the dawn of civilization. The extensive survey of
the literature revealed that Curcuma longa L. or turmeric
(from Zingiberaceae family) is highly regarded as a
universal panacea in the herbal medicine with a wide
spectrum of pharmacological activities.
Turmeric is a plant distributed throughout tropical and
subtropical regions of the world. It is widely cultivated
in Asian countries, mainly in China and India. The plant
measures up to 1 m high with a short stem. Turmeric is
an essential spice all over the world with a distinguished
human use particularly among the Eastern people (1).
Apart from the uses as spice, it is used as traditional
medicine in Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh
and Pakistan because of its beneficial properties (2). It
is called turmeric (Zarchooveh in Iran) and has been in
continuous use for its flavoring, and medicinal properties
(3). Current traditional medicine claims its powder against
gastrointestinal diseases, especially for biliary and hepatic
disorder, diabetic wounds, rheumatism, inflammation,
Curcuma longa (Turmeric), belonging to Zingiberaceae family is one of the most useful herbal
medicinal plants. Extensive researches have proven that most of the turmeric activities of the
turmeric are due to curcumin. It has various useful properties with antioxidant activities and is
useful in conditions such as inflammation, ulcer and cancer. It also has antifungal, antimicrobial
renal and hepatoprotective activities. Therefore, it has the potential against various cancer,
diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic and hard curable diseases.
The purpose of this review was to provide a brief summary of the new and current knowledge
of the effects of curcumin. The recently published papers in international cites such as PubMed/
Medline, Science Citation Index and Google Scholar about turmeric were searched. Recent
studies have authenticated the use of turmeric for various diseases especially oxidative stress
induced ones such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and inf lammatory disorders. It also is used as
hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, anticoagulant and anti-HIV to combat AIDS. Curcumin, as
a spice, exhibits great promise as a therapeutic agent. It has very low toxicity, too. As the global
scenario is now changing towards the use of non-toxic plant products hav ing traditional medicinal
use, development of modern drugs from turmeric should be emphasized for the control of various
diseases. Further evaluation needs to be carried out on turmeric in order to explore the concealed
areas and their practical clinical applications, which can be used for the welfare of mankind.
Curcuma longa
Phytochemistr y
Therapeutic effects
Article History:
Received: 2 March 2014
Accepted: 19 May 2014
ePublished: 1 June 2014
Article Type:
Mini Review
Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
Curcuma longa has the potential against various cancer, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic and
hard curable diseases. Curcumin, as a spice, exhibits great promise as a therapeutic agent. As the global scenario is now changing
towards the use of non-toxic plant products, development of modern drugs from turmeric should be emphasized for the control
of various diseases.
Please cite this paper as: Nasri H, Sahinfard N, Raeian M, Raeian S, Shirzad M, Raeian-kopaei M. Turmeric: A spice with
multifunctional medicinal properties. J HerbMed Plarmacol. 2014; 3(1): 5-8.
Nasri H et al.
Journal of HerbMed Pharmacology, Volume 3, Number 1, June 2014
sinusitis, anorexia, coryza and cough (4). The coloring
principle of turmeric is called curcumin, which has
yellow color and is the essential component of this
plant (4). Recent studies have authenticated turmeric as
anticancer, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, anti-
inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-fertility, anti-venom,
hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, anticoagulant, etc.
The plant has also shown to possess anti HIV activity to
combat AIDS. These medicinal properties of turmeric
caused it to be considered as a spice with multifunctional
medicinal properties.
Phytocomponents of turmeric
Turmeric contains 69.4% carbohydrates, 6.3% protein,
5.1% fat, 3.5% minerals, and 13.1%. moisture. The
essential oil (5.8%) obtained by steam distillation
possesses Sesquiterpenes (53%), zingiberene (25%),
a-phellandrene (1%), sabinene (0.6%), cineol (1%),
and borneol (0.5%). Curcumin (3–4%) is responsible
for the yellow colour, and comprises curcumin I (94%),
curcumin II (6%) and curcumin III (0.3%) (Figure 1) (5).
Demethoxy and bisdemethoxy derivatives of curcumin
have also been isolated from turmeric. Curcumin has a
melting point at 176–177 °C; forms a reddish- brown salt
with alkali and is soluble in acetic acid, ethanol, alkali,
ketone and chloroform (2).
Presence of tumerone a, tumerone b, curzerenone,
curdione, mono- and di-demethoxycurcumin have been
reported in the rhizomes. The essential oils of leaves of C.
longa have been analyzed by Gas Liquid Chromatography
and reported to contain linalool, caryophyllene,
geraniol, α-pinene, β-pinene, sabinene, myrcene,
α-phellandrene, 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, C8-aldehyde, and
methyl heptanone (6).
A novel sesquiterpene, (6S)-2-methyl-6-(4- hydroxyphe-
nyl-3-methyl)-2-hepten-4-one, two new bisabolane ses-
quiterpenes, (6S)-2-methyl-6- (4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-hep-
ten-4-one, (6S)-2- methyl-6- (4-formylphenyl)-2-hepten-
4-one, and two calebin derivatives, 4"-(4"'-hydroxyphenyl-
3"'-methoxy)- 2"-oxo-3"-butenyl-3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-
propenoate and 4"-(4"'-hydroxyphenyl)- 2"-oxo-3"-bute-
Figure 1. Various curcumins
nyl-3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl- 3'-methoxy)-propenoate were
isolated along with five known bisabolane sesquiterpenes
from turmeric (7).
Phytopharmacology of turmeric
Turmeric has several therapeutic and pharmacologic
activities. The following is the most important
phytopharmacology and therapeutic properties
of turmeric.
Antioxidant activity
Curcumin has been shown be a powerful scavenger
of oxygen free radicals. Its antioxidant activity is
comparable to vitamins C and E (4). It can protect lipids
or hemoglobin from oxidation. It can significantly
inhibit the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS)
such as H2O2, superoxide anions and nitrite radical
generation by activated macrophages. Its derivatives, bis-
demethoxycurcumin and demethoxycurcumin also have
antioxidant activities (4).
Curcumin pre-treatment has been shown to decrease
ischemia-induced oxidative stress and changes in the heart
(5). An in vitro study measuring the effect of curcumin on
an inducible stress protein, resulted in enhanced cellular
resistance to oxidative damage (6).
Cardiovascular and anti-diabetic eects
Turmeric exerts cardio-protective effects mainly by
antioxidant activity, lowering lipid peroxidation, anti-
diabetic activity and inhibiting platelet aggregation. A
study of 18 atherosclerotic rabbits given 1.6-3.2 mg/kg/day
of turmeric extract demonstrated decreased susceptibility
of LDL to lipid peroxidation, in addition to lower plasma
cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Turmeric effect on
cholesterol levels may be due to decreased cholesterol
uptake in the intestines and increased conversion of
cholesterol to bile acids in the liver. Inhibition of platelet
aggregation by turmeric constituents is thought to be via
potentiation of prostacyclins synthesis and inhibition of
thromboxane synthesis.
Both turmeric decreases blood glucose level in diabetic
rats. Turmeric also decreases complications in diabetes
mellitus. Further clinical studies need to be performed in
this area to discover optimal dosages for cardiovascular
protection and lipid or glucose lowering activities (7).
Inammatory and edematic disorders
Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory with specific
lipoxygenase- and COX-2- inhibiting properties. In
vitro, and in vivo studies have demonstrated its effects
at decreasing both acute and chronic inflammation.
Curcumin has inhibited edema at doses between 50
and 200 mg/kg, in mice. A 50% reduction in edema
was achieved with a dose of 48 mg/kg body weight,
with curcumin nearly as effective as cortisone and
phenylbutazone at similar doses. In rats, a lower dose
Turmeric: A medicinal spice
Journal of HerbMed Pharmacology, Volume 3, Number 1, June 2014 7
of 20-80 mg/kg decreased paw inflammation and
edema. Curcumin also inhibited formaldehyde induced
arthritis in rats at a dose of 40 mg/kg and demonstrated
no acute toxicity at doses up to 2 g/kg/day (8).
In an animal study, rheumatoid arthritis induced by
streptococcal cell wall, intraperitoneal injection of
turmeric extract containing 4 mg total curcuminoids/kg/
day for four days prior to induction of arthritis, inhibited
joint inflammation in both acute (75%) and chronic (68%)
phases. To test the efficacy of an oral preparation, a 30-
fold higher dose of the curcuminoid preparation, given to
rats four days prior to arthritis induction, reduced joint
inflammation by 48% (9).
Gastrointestinal eects
Turmeric exerts several protective effects on the
gastrointestinal tract. Turmeric also inhibits ulcer
formation caused by stress, alcohol, Indomethacin,
reserpine, pyloric ligation, increasing gastric wall mucus
in rats subjected to these gastrointestinal insults. It also
inhibits intestinal spasm and increases bicarbonate,
gastrin, secretin and pancreatic enzyme secretion. An
open, phase II trial performed on 25 patients with
endoscopically-diagnosed gastric ulcer, given 600 mg
powdered turmeric five times daily, showed completely
healed in 48 percent of patients. No adverse reactions
or blood abnormalities were recorded (7). Curcumin
reduced mucosal injury in mice with experimentally-
induced colitis. Ten days prior to induction of colitis, with
1, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid, administration of
50 mg/kg curcumin resulted in a significant reduction of
diarrhea, neutrophil infiltration and lipid peroxidation
in colonic tissue. Also all indicators inflammation were
reduced and the symptoms improved (10). In rat models
of experimentally-induced pancreatitis, curcumin was
able to decrease inflammation. In cerulean or ethanol
induced pancreatitis, curcumin was also able to inhibit
the inflammatory mediators, resulted in amelioration
in disease severity as measured by histology, pancreatic
trypsin, serum amylase, and neutrophil infiltration (11).
Anti-cancer effect
Numerous animal studies have explored turmeric influence
on the carcinogenesis. Several studies have demonstrated
that curcumin is able to inhibit carcinogenesis at three
stages: angiogenesis, tumor promotion, and tumor
growth. In two studies of colon and prostate cancer,
curcumin was shown to inhibit cell proliferation and
tumor growth. Turmeric and curcumin are also able to
suppress the activity of several common mutagens and
carcinogens. The anticarcinogenic effects of turmeric
and curcumin have been related to direct antioxidant and
free-radical scavenging effects, as well as their ability to
indirectly increase glutathione levels, thereby aiding in
hepatic detoxification of mutagens and carcinogens, and
inhibiting nitrosamine formation. Curcumin has also
been shown to inhibit the mutagenic induction effect of
UV rays (8-12).
Antimicrobial activity
Turmeric has been shown to inhibit the growth of a variety
of bacteria, pathogenic fungi, and parasites. A study
of chicks infected with Eimera maxima demonstrated
that diets supplemented with 1% turmeric resulted in a
reduction in intestinal lesion and improved weight gain
(11). In another animal study, topically application of
turmeric oil inhibited dermatophytes and pathogenic
fungi in guinea pigs at 7 days post-turmeric application
(13). Curcumin has also been found to have moderate
activity against Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania
major organisms (14).
Hepatoprotective and renoprotective eects of turmeric
Turmeric has been shown to have renoprotective
and hepatoprotective properties similar to silymarin.
Animal studies have demonstrated renoprotective and
hepatoprotective effects of turmeric from a variety
of hepatotoxic insults. The hepatoprotective and
renoprotective effects of turmeric are mainly due to its
antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to decrease the
formation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (3-5). Turmeric
and curcumin have also reversed fatty changes, biliary
hyperplasia and necrosis induced by aflatoxin production
(3). Sodium curcuminate, a salt of curcumin, also exerts
choleretic effects by increasing biliary excretion of bile
salts, cholesterol, and bilirubin, as well as increasing bile
solubility, therefore, possibly preventing and treating
cholelithiasis (4).
Alzheimer and turmeric
Epidemiological studies have suggested reduced risk of in
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in patients with long-term use
of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which
may show the role of brain inflammation in Alzheimer’s
disease. It also has been shown with increased cytokines
and activated microglia. It has been shown that curcumin
has NSAID like activity and reduces oxidative damage. To
evaluate whether it could affect Alzheimer-like pathology,
the effect of 160 ppm and 5000 ppm doses of dietary
curcumin on inflammation, oxidative damage, and plaque
pathology were tested. Both doses significantly lowered
oxidized proteins and IL-1, a proinflammatory cytokine
usually elevated in the brains of these mice. In view of its
efficacy and apparent low toxicity, this spice has promise
for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (15,16).
Photo-protector activity
This action is due to its antioxidant activity. A large part
of the lipids of the surface of the skin is unsaturated.
Therefore, they are easily attacked by free radicals. The
ultraviolet rays of the sun penetrate the skin and accelerate
the damage caused by these radicals. Prolonged exposure
Nasri H et al.
Journal of HerbMed Pharmacology, Volume 3, Number 1, June 2014
to these radiations may degrade the lipids thus causing
deterioration in the texture of the skin. In laboratory
studies, extract of turmeric was shown to be effective in
suppressing inflammation and protecting the epidermal
cells from the damages caused by ultraviolet B radiation
(7). Curcumin, in small doses of turmeric has been
shown to protect against chromosomal damage caused by
gamma radiation (7).
Turmeric is the unique source of various types of chemical
compounds, which are responsible for a variety of
activities. Although, a lot of experiments have been done
on turmeric, however, more investigations are needed to
exploit other therapeutic utility to combat diseases. A drug
development programme should be undertaken to develop
modern drugs. Although crude extracts from leaves or
rhizomes of the plant have medicinal applications, modern
drugs can be developed after extensive investigation of its
pharmacotherapeutics, bioactivity, mechanism of action,
and toxicities, after proper standardization and clinical
trials. As the global scenario is now changing towards
the use of non-toxic plant products having traditional
medicinal use, development of modern drugs from C.
longa should be emphasized for the control of various
diseases. Further evaluation needs to be carried out on
C. longa in order to explore the concealed areas and their
practical clinical applications, which can be used for the
welfare of mankind.
Authors’ contributions
Authors contributed equally.
Conict of interests
e authors declared no competing interests.
Ethical considerations
Ethical issues (including plagiarism, misconduct,
data fabrication, falsication, double publication or
submission, redundancy) have been completely observed
by the authors.
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... The antihypertensive effect of turmeric can be attributed to the active compounds that turmeric has, each of which has a different mechanism of action. Several mechanisms that may be involved in reducing blood pressure include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, Ca2+ concentration disturbances, stimulation of a2adrenergic receptors, and inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system so that turmeric has antihypertensive activity [12], [13]. ...
Full-text available
Moringa leaves, red ginger, turmeric, red meniran, cinnamon, and sambiloto have compounds with antihypertensive activity. The study was to describe the characteristics and effect of decoction 6 plant compositions for reducing the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of respondents in Long Kali District. The method used is quasi-experimental for 7 days. The results show characteristics data respondents for hypertensive patients in Long Kali District occurred the highest in late adulthood (36-45 years) with a percentage of 65%, female sex with a percentage of 75%, family history (hypertension) with a percentage of 65%, other diseases (more than 1 disease) with a percentage of 30%, and BMI obesity I (23.0 – 29.9) 50%. Data on the effect of giving decoction 6 plant compositions had a significant effect for decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure of pre-test and post-test which was able to reduce the average systolic blood pressure on the third day by 11.7 mmHg (p=0.000) and diastolic blood pressure of 7.2 mmHg (p=0.005) and on the seventh day was also able to reduce the average systolic blood pressure of 9.4 mmHg (p= 0.012) and diastolic blood pressure of 4.9 mmHg (p= 0.030).
... Medically turmeric has been used to treat gastrointestinal problems, biliary and hepatic disorders, diabetic sores, rheumatism, inflammation, sinusitis, anorexia, coryza, and cough. It has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fertility, anti-venom, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, anticoagulant, and anti-HIV properties [2,3]. The purpose of this study is to discover the potential impact of C. longa miRNAs on human target genes and SARS-CoV2 infection. ...
Full-text available
Background Plant elements and extracts have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of diseases, from cancer to modern lifestyle ailments like viral infections. These plant-based miRNAs have the capacity to control physiological and pathological conditions in both humans and animals, and they might be helpful in the detection and treatment of a variety of diseases. The present study investigates the miRNA of the well-known spice Curcuma Longa and its prospective targets using a variety of bioinformatics techniques. Results Using the integrative database of animal, plant, and viral microRNAs known as miRNEST 2.0, nine C. longa miRNAs were predicted. psRNA target service foretells the presence of 23 human target genes linked to a variety of disorders. By interacting with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes, miRNAs 167, 1525, and 756 have been found to be critical regulators of tumour microenvironment. SARS-cov2 and influenza A virus regulation have been connected to ZFP36L1 from miRNA 1525 and ETV5 from miRNA 756, respectively. Conclusions The current cross-kingdom study offers fresh knowledge about how to increase the effectiveness of plant-based therapies for disease prevention and serves as a platform for in vitro and in vivo research development. Graphical abstract
... Curcumin boosts immunity generally in addition to this localised immunological activation. Researchers in India have shown that mice fed curcumin had higher antibody levels and stronger immunological responses [54][55][56]. ...
Turmeric is a traditional spice that is made from the rhizomes of the ginger family member Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae). Turmeric has long been utilised in India for medical purposes and is often referred to as the "Golden Spice of India. " Traditional Chinese medicine has prescribed it as a home cure for several illnesses, including rheumatism, sinusitis, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, and biliary disorders. A wide range of biological effects is demonstrated by turmeric and its compounds, primarily curcumin and essential oils, in addition to its use as a spice and a color. These include its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-clotting, antifertility, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiprotozoal, antiviral, anti-fibrotic, anti-venom, antiulcer, hypotensive, and hypocholesteremic properties. Researchers' discovery that the herb may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities sparked modern interest in turmeric in the 1970s. According to safety assessment studies, both turmeric and curcumin are well tolerated at very high doses without producing any adverse consequences. To treat a variety of disorders, contemporary medication may one day be developed using turmeric and its ingredients.
... Apart from curcumin, Curcuminoid comprises of other components such as diferuloylmethane, demethoxycurcumin, and bismethoxycurcumin (Ikpeama et al., 2014). Nasri et al., (2014) reported that the essential oil (5.8%) produced from turmeric by steam distillation contains borneol (0.5%), sabinene (0.6%), aphellandrene (1%), cineol (1%), zingiberene (25%), sesquiterpenes (53%). Curcumin (3-4%) causes the yellow color observed in turmeric and is made up of curcumin I (94%), curcumin II (6%), and curcumin III (0.3%). ...
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In recent years, studies have placed a greater emphasis on the scientific evaluation of historical plant-based medications, as well as the examination of various plant parts for medicinal and pharmacological significance. In light of cultural histories and ancient medicine from previous decades, which have continued to promote the healing benefits of plants and their extracts, the medicinal values of plants cannot be overstated. Nutraceuticals are the use of therapeutic properties of plants or plant parts to prevent and control illness. The Zingiberaceae family includes Curcuma longa (Turmeric), which is one of the most innovative nutraceuticals. It is widely grown and consumed in India and Asian countries as a shelf-life enhancer and preservative, aromatic, and coloring ingredient. It possesses anti-glycemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-viral properties, among other health advantages. For millennia, Curcuma longa has been regarded safe to use as a spice and seasoning.
... Moreover turmeric has very low toxic level. Due to reduced use of traditional medicine in modern era the production of turmeric based innovative medication must be encouraged to resist the occurrence of different infections (Nasri et al., 2014). ...
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Plant based traditional health care is one of the ancient remedies used to prevent and treat different health related disorders. Due to increasing cost of medicine in the modern era, people are now moving towards the utilization of ancient ethno medicinal plants based remedies to prevent and treat diseases as well as to maintain their health. Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric has been used since ancient times as ethno medicinal plant due to its pharmacological and therapeutic potential. The rhizome of this plant is commonly used to prevent the lifestyle related disorders. Its biologically active components can also be extracted and utilized directly to enhance the efficacy. Purpose of this review is to highlight the importance of turmeric as it contains various biologically active components that are beneficial in prevention and treatment of various health related disorders. Turmeric has been demonstrated to exhibit anti-cancer, immunostimulant, skin protection, ulcer treating, anti-inflammatory, anti-malarial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-oxidant, anti-hyperlipidemic, hepatoprotective, renal protection and hematological parameters maintenance properties. There is no evidence of adverse effects of turmeric in literature. Only the people who are allergic to it can have side effects otherwise it is almost stomach friendly due to which it can be used for treatment of various health related disorders.
The functional foods cover a variety of food components such as class of bioactive compounds and substances. The functional foods are present in both plant and animal sources. The evidence-based science shows the beneficial effects of functional foods on human health and reduction in development of chronic disorders. The functional foods are present in large amounts in the animal foods such as dairy products (probiotics and prebiotics), fish (omega-3 and DHA) and meat products (peptides), and B group of vitamins and minerals. The functional foods in form of bioactive compounds can be induced in the diet in form of palaeolithic diet, Atkins diet or ketogenic diet (not in extreme phases) for short duration of time. Various researches demonstrate the benefit of the bioactive compounds present in functional foods in improving human health; for example, probiotics and fibres are important for maintaining gut health, antioxidants and polyphenols remove free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, and flavonoids have anti-carcinogenic properties and many more. The functional foods have numerous benefits for the disease prevention and maintaining human health which is evidence based and will be elaborated in the chapter.KeywordsFunctional foodsAntioxidantsPhytochemicalsFlavonoidsPrebioticsHealthDisease prevention
The influenza viral infection is threatening the general public since ages due to its high mortality and morbidity rates. There are only few medications available currently for the management of the infection. Both these classes of drugs provide only symptomatic relief, required in high doses, but it also linked with several harmful effects. To minimize various risks of adverse effects and to provide an alternative cure for influenza infection, plant bioactives have been explored since many decades. There are various Chinese traditional medicines, which provide effective therapeutic treatment against the influenza virus. Most importantly, the roots of the Isatis indigotica (Banlangen) and Lianhuaqingwen have significant action against the virus as compared to synthetic drugs. So, there is much other herbal therapeutics, which showed remarkable activity against the influenza infection. This chapter explained about the several bioactives and their mechanism of actions associated with the management of the infection caused by influenza virus.
During cultivation, environmental factors can cause changes in the metabolism of Curcuma longa L. that limit its development. This study evaluated the effects of different sodium chloride (NaCl) concentrations on the leaf anatomy, stomatal features, and biochemical activity of C. longa L. plants. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse, using rhizomes of C. longa L. planted in plastic pots containing soil, sand, and organic matter (2:1:1). After 180 days of planting, salt stress using NaCl (50, 100, and 150 mM) was induced and a control treatment was made with water. At 150 days post treatment, the morphoanatomical variables of the leaves were evaluated, and biochemical analyses of the leaves and rhizomes were performed. The leaves exposed to intermediate salt concentrations (50 and 100 mM) had fewer hypodermic cells and larger spaces between the cells in the spongy parenchyma. In the 150 mM NaCl group, there was an increase in the total leaf thickness caused by an increase in hypodermic cells. The percentage of closed stomata increased in the 50 mM (85%) and 100 mM (80%) NaCl treatments, and the polar diameter of the cells (1.22%) was reduced in the presence of 150 mM NaCl. Biochemical analyses revealed different responses for rhizomes and leaves. The total sugars in the rhizomes increased in the presence of ≥ 50 mM NaCl, probably because of the need to generate more energy for use in secondary metabolite synthesis pathways. The antioxidative activity and phenolic compounds also increased at the highest NaCl concentrations. In conclusion, we have classified C. longa L. as a plant that is tolerant to saline stress, owing to the metabolic balance and water-loss barrier provided by the rhizome to mitigate stress damage. Our results showed that C. longa L. plants were tolerant to the high salt concentrations tested in this study (100 and 150 mM).
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Objective: To analyze modulating effect of Curcuma longa on Pancreatic Islet β-cell function and insulin resistance in alloxan induced diabetic rat model. Study Design: Experimental study. Setting: Department of Anatomy, Pharmacology and Pathology, SRMCH, T. Adam. Period: February 2019 to January 2020. Material & Methods: One hundred adult male rats were selected according to criteria and grouped A to E. Group A and B was negative and positive control rats, and C –E were diabetic experimental rats. Alloxan (120 mg/Kg body weight) was injected intraperitoneally (i.p) to induce diabetes mellitus. Curcuma longa was used in doses of 200, 300 and 500 mg/d for 28 days. Body weight, blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin and C-peptide were estimated. Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and β- cell function (HOMA-β) were calculated by formulae. Data was analyzed on SPSS package ver. 21.0 (IBM, incorporation, USA) (p≤ 0.05). Results: Twenty eight days therapy of Curcuma longa extract ameliorates blood glucose, A1C, serum Insulin levels and C-peptide levels. Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was found improved and β- cell function (HOMA-β) was augmented in in Curcuma longa treated experimental rats (P=0.0001). Conclusion: Administration of Curcuma longa positively modulates the Islet β-cell function and insulin resistance in alloxan induced diabetic rats.
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The poultry industry fulfills the nutritional gap in many nations at a lower cost than other animal meat sources. Concerns about the extensive use of Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs), stimulated consumer demand for antibiotic-free animal yield. We investigated the applicability of the phytobiotic Essential Oils (EOs) and their influence on the overall performance, appetite, and food digestion. We aimed to assess the effects of dietary phytobiotic supplements containing black pepper, fennel, and turmeric EOs on the performance of Broiler chickens. The study used 280; 70-day-old chicks. The birds were divided into seven experimental groups; one control and six were fed on phytobiotics EOs at rates of 1% and 0.5% and monitored for 8 weeks. The results revealed that the inclusion of 0.5% black pepper and 0.5% fennel combination, as well as a 1% turmeric, significantly (P < 0.05) improved body weights in birds. Black pepper and a combination of turmeric and fennel revealed slower growth compared to the other treatments. The combined diet of black pepper and turmeric significantly (P < 0.05) improved feed intakes. The hemoglobin concentration, Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), and Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) values of birds fed with 0.5% black pepper and 0.5% turmeric, as well as 1% black pepper, were found to be higher. The Red Blood Cell (RBC) counts were increased with 0.5% black pepper and 0.5% fennel. The study concluded that phytobiotic EOs are cost-effective and safe natural growth enhancers for broiler chickens with health-promoting properties. Keywords- feed intake, health, impact, phytobiotics, poultry
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Curcumin, the major yellow pigment in turmeric, prevents the development of adenomas in the intestinal tract of the C57Bl/6J Min/ mouse, a model of human familial APC. To aid the rational development of curcumin as a colorectal cancer-preventive agent, we explored the link between its chemopreventive potency in the Min/ mouse and levels of drug and metabolites in target tissue and plasma. Mice received dietary curcumin for 15 weeks, after which adenomas were enumerated. Levels of curcumin and metabolites were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography in plasma, tissues, and feces of mice after either long-term ingestion of dietary curcumin or a single dose of [14C]curcumin (100 mg/kg) via the i.p. route. Whereas curcumin at 0.1% in the diet was without effect, at 0.2 and 0.5%, it reduced adenoma multiplicity by 39 and 40%, respectively, compared with untreated mice. Hematocrit values in untreated Min/ mice were drastically reduced compared with those in wild-type C57Bl/6J mice. Dietary curcumin partially restored the suppressed hematocrit. Traces of curcumin were detected in the plasma. Its concentration in the small intestinal mucosa, between 39 and 240 nmol/ g of tissue, reflects differences in dietary concentration. [14C]Curcumin disappeared rapidly from tissues and plasma within 2?8 h after dosing. Curcumin may be useful in the chemoprevention of human intestinal malignancies related to Apc mutations. The comparison of dose, resulting curcumin levels in the intestinal tract, and chemopreventive potency suggests tentatively that a daily dose of 1.6 g of curcumin is required for efficacy in humans. A clear advantage of curcumin over nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is its ability to decrease intestinal bleeding linked to adenoma maturation.
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is extensively used as a spice, food preservative and colouring material in India, China and South East Asia. It has been used in traditional medicine as a household remedy for various diseases, including biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis. For the last few decades, extensive work has been done to establish the biological activities and pharmacological actions of turmeric and its extracts. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the main yellow bioactive component of turmeric has been shown to have a wide spectrum of biological actions. These include its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, anticoagulant, antifertility, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiviral, antifibrotic, antivenom, antiulcer, hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities. Its anticancer effect is mainly mediated through induction of apoptosis. Its antiinflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant roles may be clinically exploited to control rheumatism, carcinogenesis and oxidative stress-related pathogenesis. Clinically, curcumin has already been used to reduce post-operative inflammation. Safety evaluation studies indicate that both turmeric and curcumin are well tolerated at a very high dose without any toxic effects. Thus, both turmeric and curcumin have the potential for the development of modern medicine for the treatment of various diseases.
It is known that curcumin, a dietary pigment from the plant Curcuma longa, inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in different cell lines; however, the therapeutic benefit is hampered by very low absorption after transdermal or oral application. Recent studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that curcumin at low concentrations (0.2-1 microg/ml) offered the described effects only when applied with UVA or visible light. Nevertheless, the in vivo efficacy of this combination is lacking. In the present study, we used a xenograft tumor model with human epithelial carcinoma A431 cells to test the effect of curcumin and visible light on tumor growth. It was found that tumor growth was significantly inhibited in mice that were i.p. injected with curcumin and consecutively irradiated with visible light. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry showed a reduction of Ki 67 expression, indicating a decrease of cycling cells and induction of apoptotic bodies. The effect on apoptosis was further confirmed by Western blot analysis showing enhanced activation of caspases-9. Vice versa inhibition of extracellular regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2 and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) was observed which may aid inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. In summary, the present findings suggest a combination of curcumin and light as a new therapeutic concept to increase the efficacy of curcumin in the treatment of cancer.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a wild plant of the ginger family native to tropical South Asia. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Google Scholar, Pubmed (NLM), LISTA (EBSCO) and Web of Science have been searched. Emerging evidence indicate that turmeric/curcumin inhibits cytokines and TGF-β production. From the various factors involved in the genesis of chronic kidney disease and pathogenesis of primary and secondary glomerulonehritis, TGF-β has emerged as a key factor in the cascade of events. Leading to glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial fibrosis and end-stage renal disease. considering the inhibitory effect of turmeric/curcumin on cytokines and TGF-β, it seems wise to assume that supplementary turmeric/curcumin might be a candidate remedy for chronic kidney disease and possibly prevention of subsequent end stage renal disease.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative condition that affects the elderly population. Its primary symptom is memory loss. The memory dysfunction in AD has been associated with cortical cholinergic deficiency and loss of cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM). Zizyphus jujube (ZJ) activates choline acetyltransferase and may have beneficial effects in AD patients. This study investigates the effect of ZJ extract in intact rats and in rat model of AD. 49 male Wistar rats were divided into seven equal groups (1-control, without surgery, received water), 2-AD (bilateral NBM lesion, received water), 3 and 4-AD + ZJ (NBM bilateral lesion, received ZJ extract 500 and 1,000 mg/kg b.w. per day for 15 days), 5-sham (surgery: electrode introduced into NBM without lesion, received water), 6 and 7-without surgery and lesion, received ZJ extract-the same as groups 3 and 4). The learning and memory performance were assessed using passive avoidance paradigm, and the memory cognition for spatial learning and memory was evaluated by Morris water maze. In shuttle box test ZJ extract (500 and 1,000 mg) significantly increased step-through latency in AD + ZJ groups compared with AD group. In Morris water maze test (in probe day), both AD + ZJ groups receiving extract (500 and 1,000 mg) demonstrated significant preference for the quadrant in which the platform was located on the preceding day as compared with AD group. Our results suggested that ZJ has repairing effects on memory and behavioral disorders produced by NBM lesion in rats and may have beneficial effects in treatment of AD patients.
This study investigated the effects of pretreatment with different doses of Lavandula officinalis ethanolic extract on memory, learning and nociception in male Wistar rats. In this experimental study, 32 male Wistar rats were studied in 4 groups of 8 each. The control group received distilled water while three treatment groups received oral Lavender extract. Then 2 h after the last dose Morris water maze, shuttle box and rotarod test were performed. To study the analgesic activity the hot plate was used. The rats received orally Lavender extract one hour prior to beginning of the experiment for analgesic activity. The treatment groups with doses of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of the Lavender extract improved learning and memory compared with the control group in final trails in Morris water maze test. Lavender extract increased the latency to fall off for each rat in 100 and 200 mg/kg Lavender groups in rotarod test. Lavender extract with 400 mg/kg dose significantly increased latency to respond to heat stimulus 5 and 15 minutes after beginning of experiment. Although further studies are needed, the results indicate that lavender extract improves memory and learning, and might be beneficial in patients with these disorders, particularly the patients suffering pain.
The presence of two turmerones in turmeric is demonstrated and their structures are defined as 2-methyl-6-(4-methylcyclohexa-2,4-dien-1-yl)hept-2-en-4-one (5, ‘α-turmerone’) and 2-methyl-6-(4-methylenecyclohex-2-en-1-yl)hept-2-en-4-one (2, ‘β-turmerone’).
Curcumin is a widely-used dietary supplement and a chemopreventive agent for various cancers. Pre-clinical chemopreventive studies rarely consider the effect of aging. We previously reported that unlike young animals, curcumin is ineffective in middle-aged rats for colon chemoprevention. This study investigated whether resistance to apoptosis during cancer initiation contributes to this age-dependent effect. Young, middle-aged, and old F344 rats were fed either curcumin (0.6%) or control diet. Colonic apoptosis was evaluated 0, 8, and 16 h after azoxymethane (AOM) injection. Colonic Hsp70 mRNA levels, caspase-9 activity, cell proliferation, and crypt morphology were measured. In AOM-treated rats, only middle-aged rats were resistant to curcumin-induced apoptosis whereas cell proliferation was reduced by curcumin in all ages. Curcumin-induced apoptosis was mediated by caspase-9 in young but not older rats. Transcriptional Hsp70 expression was induced in only young rats and was suppressed by curcumin. Therefore, the age-related difference in curcumin chemoprevention is due to a differential response in induction of apoptosis. The mitochondria-dependent pathway seems to mediate curcumin-induced apoptosis in young but not older animals. Hsp70 expression was not related with resistance to curcumin-induced apoptosis. Understanding age-related differences in the apoptotic response may lead to improved translation from pre-clinical animal studies to humans.