Curcuminoid is a linear diarylheptanoid having molecules such as curcumin or derivatives of cucurmin accompanying various different chemical groups which are formed for raising cucurmins solubility and make them appropriate for drug formulation. These compounds are natural phenols which forms a yellow color. The curcumin characters are not suitable to use as drugs by themselves. It has poor solubility in water at acidic or physiological pH and hydrolyze rapidly in alkaline solutions. Thus curcumin derivatives are incorporated to promote its solubility and bioavailability. Curcuminoids are dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide, ethanol and acetone but poorly dissolves in lipids. It promotes to enhance curcuminoid solubility in aqueous phase with co-surfactants or surfactants. Some of the derivatives are incorporated which could possibly be more potent than itself. Common derivatives have various substituents on phenyl groups.
There are more than 100 species in Curcuma family and it is a characteristic of these species is yellow orange hue. Curcuminoids are the compounds responsible for this color. Three main cucurminoids are: bis-demethoxycurcumin, curcumin and de-methoxycurcumin. It account for 2 to 6% of rhizome content. Studies have shown the use of curcuminoids in medication of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and memory deficits. The requirement to form synthetic variations of curcuminoids is that it has poor oral bioavailability and is metabolized rapidly. More than 30 metabolites of curcuminoids are identified from human samples after consumption of curcuminoids.
Dietary Sources of Curcuminoids
Food sources which contain curcuminoids are turmeric, curry powder and mango ginger.
Health Benefits of Curcuminoids
Now let’s discuss on the health benefits offered by Curcuminoids:
- Anti-inflammatory activity
Inflammation is an immune response which protects body from infection and diseases. On the other hand, chronic inflammation is a serious problem contributing to various chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Curcumin is beneficial to provide relief from inflammation in the body by blocking activity of various enzymes incorporated in inflammatory process. Study shows anti-inflammatory effects of various compounds and found ibuprofen and aspirin are the two common medications used for treating inflammation were least potent while curcumin extract effectively relieves inflammation. Besides lowering inflammation, it lowers the chances of inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and asthma.
- Healthy skin
The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in curcuminoids keep the skin healthy and glowing. Curcumin helps to neutralize free radicals preventing cell damage. It accelerate wound healing and promote collagen deposition.
It helps to treat various skin conditions associated to inflammation. Animal study shows that curcumin to mice slashed proliferation of inflammatory cells by 50 percent and improves symptoms of psoriasis. It could be used in treating skin conditions such as scabies or radiation induced dermatitis.
- Blood sugar regulation
It causes diabetes symptoms such as increased thirst, unintentional weight loss and fatigue. High levels of blood sugar could come up with harmful consequences such as impaired wound healing, nerve damage and loss of vision. Evidence shows that curcumin helps to maintain normal levels of blood sugar for preventing serious side effects. Curcumin helps to lower glucose production, stimulate glucose uptake, decrease inflammation and promote secretion of insulin from pancreas. Human study shows that curcumin capsules for nine months lower number of prediabetics who developed diabetes in comparison to placebo.
- Prevention of cancer
Diet has a major role in development and growth of cancer. Cancer combating foods such as turmeric effectively shrink tumors and eliminate cancer cells. Curcumin blocks cell signaling and inhibit cell division in various types of enzyme and growth factors which is directly associated in development of cancer. Vitro study shows that it is effective for several types of cancer including colorectal, pancreatic, lung and breast cancer as well as multiple myeloma.
- Mental health
Research shows that curcumin helps to promote mental health and aids for treating conditions such as anxiety and depression. Other study shows that curcumin helps to lower symptoms of anxiety and depression. Animal study shows that it lowers anxiety and enhance levels of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid which has a crucial role in development of brain and also involved in treating cognitive disorders such as anxiety.
- Blood clot prevention
Blood clots occur through a process named platelet aggregation that causes blood platelets to clump together and form a clot. This leads to some serious health problems such as deep vein thrombosis, stroke and pulmonary embolism. Research shows that curcumin adapt eicosanoid biosynthesis which is a natural process which is involved directly in inflammation. It affects synthesis of thromboxanes, a type of eicosanod that has a crucial role in formation of clot. Animal models and vitro studies resulted that curcumin inhibit aggregation of platelet to lower chances of blood clot formation and lower the chances of adverse effects on health.
- Treat joint pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition causing symptoms such as stiffness, pain and swelling in joints. Rich in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, curcumin lowers joint pain and promotes rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis patients when given curcumin or diclofenac sodium or both showed significant improvement in symptoms. Other studies discovered that it acts as a natural painkiller and lowers joint pain and also pain from other causes such as nerve damage.
- Cholesterol balance
High cholesterol is the major causes for heart disease. The waxy or fat like substance build in arteries causes it to harden and become narrow which causes heart muscle to work harder to pump blood. It enhances heart health by managing cholesterol levels. Curcumin lowers the level of both total and bad cholesterol in acute coronary syndrome patients. Another study conducted with intake of 500 milligrams regularly of curcumin promoted beneficial cholesterol and cause a drop in total cholesterol by 12 percent in 10 healthy human volunteers.
- Detoxify body
Body has powerful detox system build in the body: lungs helps to expel carbon dioxide, kidneys filter blood, liver flushes out toxins and intestines extract nutrients from food or excrete waste products. This system works on its own and is various ways to keep it running more efficiently discarding bacteria and toxins. Curcumin detoxify and maintain body through several mechanisms. Review reported curcumin to protect liver from disease and damage by eliminating toxins or harmful compounds from the body. I promote levels of specific enzymes involved in detoxification for preventing toxins buildup or cancer causing compounds.
- Enhance cognition
Junk foods and ultra-processed foods lead to inflammation and oxidative stress. Brain foods support cognitive health and prevent neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Animal research found that curcumin promote levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor which is a growth hormone associated to brain function and used to promote brain function in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Animal studies on rates resulted curcumin promote memory, enhance cognition and lowers oxidative damage.
Curcumin causes symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, increased risk of bleeding, low blood sugar, increased menstrual flow and reduced fertility. Evidence shows that curcumin impairs iron absorption resulting iron deficiency or anemia symptoms. Moreover, turmeric found in foods is safe during pregnancy. Pregnant women should not use curcumin supplements as it might provoke uterine contractions. People on blood thinners or diabetes medications should consult the doctor before taking curcumin supplementation.