Curcuminoid research by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

April 5 2014

Curcuminoids are polyphenolic pigments found in the spice turmeric. The term turmeric is used both for the plant Curcuma longa L. and the spice derived from the rhizomes of the plant. The major curcuminoids are curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These substances comprise 3 to 6% of Curcuma longa. Curcumin makes up 70 to 75% of the curcuminoids, demethoxycurcumin 15 to 20% and bisdemethoxycurcumin about 3%.

Benefit
For beta thalassemia blood disease.

Arthritis
Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis.
Arthritis Rheum. 2006.
Scientific evidence is lacking for the antiarthritic efficacy of turmeric dietary supplements that are being promoted for arthritis treatment. Therefore, we undertook studies to determine the antiarthritic efficacy and mechanism of action of a well-characterized turmeric extract using an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The composition of commercial turmeric dietary supplements was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. A curcuminoid -containing turmeric extract similar in composition to these supplements was isolated and administered intraperitoneally to female Lewis rats prior to or after the onset of streptococcal cell wall-induced arthritis. A turmeric fraction depleted of essential oils profoundly inhibited joint inflammation and periarticular joint destruction in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo treatment prevented local activation of NF-kappaB and the subsequent expression of NF-kappaB-regulated genes mediating joint inflammation and destruction, including chemokines, cyclooxygenase 2, and RANKL. Consistent with these findings, inflammatory cell influx, joint levels of prostaglandin E(2), and periarticular osteoclast formation were inhibited by turmeric extract treatment. These translational studies demonstrate in vivo efficacy and identify a mechanism of action for a well-characterized turmeric extract that supports further clinical evaluation of turmeric dietary supplements in the treatment of RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis.
J Nat Prod. 2006. Arizona Center for Phytomedicine Research, Department of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for inflammatory disorders including arthritis. On the basis of this traditional usage, dietary supplements containing turmeric rhizome and turmeric extracts are also being used in the western world for arthritis treatment and prevention. The studies described here were undertaken to determine the in vivo efficacy of well-characterized curcuminoid-containing turmeric extracts in the prevention or treatment of arthritis using streptococcal cell wall (SCW)-induced arthritis, a well-described animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. An essential oil-depleted turmeric fraction containing 41% of the three major curcuminoids was efficacious in preventing joint inflammation when treatment was started before, but not after, the onset of joint inflammation. A commercial sample containing 94% of the three major curcuminoids was more potent in preventing arthritis than the essential oil-depleted turmeric fraction when compared by total curcuminoid dose per body weight.

Interactions with medications
Q. I am from Italy. Because I'm assuming Ticlopidine and Rosuvastatine (post-therapy of stroke) I would like to know if there is not interference assuming also curcuminoid.
   A. Much of an influence of an herb on the body's biochemistry and physiology, and much of the interaction between an herb and pharmaceutical medications depends on the dosage uses. In general, small doses of curcuminoids do not cause any major interactions or complications, but there is a potential for higher amounts to do so. Very little research has been done with the interaction of curcuminoids or other herbal extracts and the thousands of prescription drugs on the market so no definite answers can be given.