Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
34 (2002) 37–46
The curcuma antioxidants: pharmacological
effects and prospects for future clinical use.
*, A. Bernd
, J.M. Sempere
Department of Biotechnology, Uni6ersity of Alicante, San Vicente, E-
, Alicante, Spain
Department of Dermatology, Clinical Hospital, Theodor-Stern-Kai,
Department of Medicine, ASAC Pharmaceutical International, AIE, C. Sagitario,
Received 9 April 2001; received in revised form 9 July 2001; accepted 12 July 2001
In agreement with the predictions of the oxygen-stress theory of aging and age-related
degenerative diseases, diet supplementation with a number of phenolic or thiolic antioxidants
has been able to increase the life span of laboratory animals, protect against senescent
immune decline and preserve the respiratory function of aged mitochondria. In addition to
the above, more recent data reviewed here suggest that the polyphenolic compound curcumin
and related non-toxic antioxidants from the rhizome of the spice plant Curcuma longa have
a favorable effect on experimental mouse tumorigenesis as well as on inﬂammatory processes
such as psoriasis and ethanol-caused hepatic injury. Our own research has focused on the
effects of diet supplementation with an antioxidant-rich hydroalcoholic extract of the
curcuma rhizome on key risk factors of atherogenesis and related cardiovascular disease. Our
reviewed data show that, in human healthy subjects, the daily intake of 200 mg of the above
extract results in a decrease in total blood lipid peroxides as well as in HDL and LDL-lipid
peroxidation. This anti-atherogenic effect was accompanied by a curcuma antioxidant-in-
duced normalization of the plasma levels of ﬁbrinogen and of the apo B/apo A ratio, that
may also decrease the cardiovascular risk. The reviewed literature indicates that curcumin
and related plant co-antioxidants are powerful anti-inﬂammatory agents. Further, since they
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +34-96-528-6700; fax: +34-96-528-6434.
firstname.lastname@example.org (J. Miquel).
0167-4943/02/$ - see front matter © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.