Being Overweight versus Obese Being overweight means having excessive weight; this weight can be from muscles, fat, or due to water retention. Obesity can be best described as a condition where a person has acquired so much body fat that it starts having a negative impact on their overall health. If someone’s body weight is […]
Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from the herbal remedy and dietary spice turmeric. It possesses diverse anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties following oral or topical administration. Apart from Curcumin’s potent antioxidant capacity at neutral and acidic pH, its mechanisms of action include inhibition of several cell signaling pathways at multiple levels, effects on cellular enzymes such as cyclooxygenase and glutathione S-transferases, immuno-modulation and effects on angiogenesis and cell–cell adhesion.
Curcumin’s ability to affect gene transcription and to induce apoptosis in preclinical models is likely to be of particular relevance to cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy in patients. Although Curcumin’s low systemic bioavailability following oral dosing may limit access of sufficient concentrations for pharmacological effect in certain tissues, the attainment of biologically active levels in the gastrointestinal tract has been demonstrated in animals and humans. Sufficient data currently exist to advocate phase II clinical evaluation of oral Curcumin in patients with invasive malignancy or pre-invasive lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the colon and rectum.
Chemical properties of Curcumin
Curcumin is a bis-a,b-unsaturated b-diketone. As such, Curcumin exists in equilibrium with its enol tautomer. The bis-keto form predominates in acidic and neutral aqueous solutions and in the cell membrane. At pH 3–7, Curcumin acts as an extraordinarily potent H-atom donor. This is because, in the keto form of Curcumin, the heptadienone linkage between the two methoxyphenol rings contains a highly activated carbon atom, and the C–H carbon bonds on this carbon are very weak due to delocalization of the unpaired electron on the adjacent oxygens (Fig. 1). In contrast, above pH 8, the enolate form of the heptadienone chain predominates, and Curcumin acts mainly as an electron donor, a mechanism more typical for the scavenging activity of phenolic antioxidants. Curcumin is relatively insoluble in water, but dissolves in acetone, dimethylsulphoxide and ethanol.
Fig. 1. Tautomerism of curcumin under physiological conditions. Under acidic and neutral conditions, the bis-keto form (top) predominates, Whereas the enolate form is found above pH 8
In vitro, Curcumin has been shown to inhibit certain epigenetic enzymes (the histone deacetylases: HDAC1, HDAC3, and HDAC8) and transcriptional co-activator proteins (thep300 histone acetyltransferase). Curcumin also inhibits the arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase enzyme in vitro.
Daily consumption of Curcumin over a 3-month period of up to 12 grams was found to be safe in humans. In Phase I clinical trials, dietary Curcumin was shown to exhibit poor bioavailability, exhibited by rapid metabolism, low levels in plasma and tissues, and extensive rapid excretion, factors that make its’ in vivo activity poorly understood. Potential factors that limit the bioavailability of Curcumin include insolubility in water (more soluble in alkaline solutions) and non-absorption. Numerous approaches to increase Curcumin bioavailability are under research, including the use of absorption factors (such as piperine), liposomes, a structural analogue, or nanomaterial’s using specialized polymers.
Sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding the nose. When they are healthy, they are filled with air and produce mucus, which drains into the nose. When they become blocked, they get filled with fluid and they get infected leading to sinusitis. Sinusitis can be broadly categorized as follows: Acute – It is […]
CANCER The dreaded name cancer refers to a collection of related diseases where body’s cells begin to divide abnormally without stopping and hence forming a tumor which starts invading the surrounding tissues. In normal cases, cells in the body are supposed to grow and divide to form new cells in order to replace old/damaged cells. […]
Delhi, the capital of India, famous for its historical architectures, turns out to be a horrific place during winters, as Smog engulfs the entire city. Thanks to pollution that contributes greatly to the poor environment resulting in smog-causing short and long-term health hazards including bronchitis, asthma, reduced lung function, recurrence of COPD, impaired lung development […]
Zika Virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus, positive-stranded, enveloped RNA virus that replicates within insect and human hosts and can cause severe diseases. The Zika fever is an arboviral disease that results from infection with Zika virus. As an arthropod-borne virus, ZIKV is transmitted to humans by the bite of female mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti […]
What is Prostate Cancer? The prostate gland is an internal sex gland in men, the size of a walnut. It was first discovered in 1536-38 by Venetian anatomist Niccolò Massa and Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius. The gland surrounds the neck of the bladder in men and releases the fluid component of semen. Prostate cancer is […]