Medical Principles and Practice: International Journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre
The gastrointestinal tract digests and absorbs dietary nutrients, protects the body against physical and chemical damage from contents in its lumen, provides immunity against external antigens, and keeps an optimum environment for the gut microbiota. These functions cannot be performed normally in several diseases of which the following are discussed here: irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
INTRODUCTION: Turmeric has been described in ayurveda, and is referred by different names in different cultures, the active principle called curcumin or diferuloylmethane, has been shown to exhibit numerous activities. Extensive research over the last half century has revealed several important functions of curcumin. It binds to a variety of proteins and inhibits the activity of various kinases. By modulating the activation of various transcription factors, curcumin regulates the expression of inflammatory enzymes, cytokines, adhesion molecules, and cell survival proteins.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)
INTRODUCTION: Tumeric is a spice that comes from the root Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family, Zingaberaceae. In Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), tumeric has been used for its medicinal properties for various indications and through different routes of administration, including topically, orally, and by inhalation. Curcuminoids are components of tumeric, which include mainly curcumin (diferuloyl methane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcmin.
Turmeric has been used commonly as a spice, food additive, and an herbal medicine worldwide. Known as a bioactive polyphenolic extract of Turmeric, curcumin has a broad range of health benefit properties for humans. Recently, active research on curcumin with respect to aging and related traits in model organisms has demonstrated that curcumin and its metabolite, tetrahydrocurcumin (THC), increase mean lifespan of at least three model organisms: nematode roundworm, fruit fly Drosophila, and mouse.
Curcumin is a polyphenolic bioactive compound in turmeric. We examined if antioxidant effects of curcumin are associated with lifespan extension in Drosophila. In this experiment, females and males of Drosophila were fed diets either containing no curcumin (C0) or supplemented with curcumin at 0.5 (C1) and 1.0 (C2) mg/g of diet. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and expression of seven age-related genes in females and males were analyzed.
Larval feeding with curcumin induces an extended health span with significantly increased median and maximum longevities in the adult fly. This phenotype is diet insensitive and shows no additive effect on longevity when combined with an adult dietary restriction (DR) diet, suggesting that curcumin and DR operate via the same or overlapping pathways for this trait. This treatment significantly slows the aging rate so that it is comparable with that of genetically selected long lived animals.
The pronounced effects of the epigenetic diet (ED) and caloric restriction (CR) have on epigenetic gene regulation have been documented in many pre-clinical and clinical studies. Understanding epigenetics is of high importance because of the concept that external factors such as nutrition and diet may possess the ability to alter gene expression without modifying the DNA sequence. The ED introduces bioactive medicinal chemistry compounds such as sulforaphane (SFN), curcumin (CCM), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and resveratrol (RSV) that are thought to aid in extending the human lifespan.
Artemisinin and curcumin show an additive interaction in killing Plasmodium falciparum in culture. In vivo, 3 oral doses of curcumin following a single injection of alpha,beta-arteether to Plasmodium berghei-infected mice are able to prevent recrudescence due to alpha,beta-arteether monotherapy and ensure almost 100% survival of the animals.
Traditional medicines provide fertile ground for modern drug development, but first they must pass along a pathway of discovery, isolation, and mechanistic studies before eventual deployment in the clinic. Here, we highlight the challenges along this route, focusing on the compounds artemisinin, triptolide, celastrol, capsaicin, and curcumin.
Earlier studies in this laboratory have shown the potential of artemisinin-curcumin combination therapy in experimental malaria. In a parasite recrudescence model in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei (ANKA), a single dose of alpha,beta-arteether (ART) with three oral doses of curcumin prevented recrudescence, providing almost 95% protection. The parasites were completely cleared in blood with ART-alone (AE) or ART+curcumin (AC) treatments in the short-term, although the clearance was faster in the latter case involving increased ROS generation.