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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132-133

Synthetic curcumin: A biological monograph

School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication14-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Roopesh Jain
School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Airport Road, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_19_19

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How to cite this article:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Synthetic curcumin: A biological monograph. J Curr Res Sci Med 2019;5:132-3

How to cite this URL:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Synthetic curcumin: A biological monograph. J Curr Res Sci Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Jul 2];5:132-3. Available from: https://www.jcrsmed.org/text.asp?2019/5/2/132/275778

Dear Sir,

In general, research to date shows that food ingredients offer various health benefits and do not pose any kind of risk to health. Indeed, a range of ingredients such as curcumin has long been consumed throughout the world either as part of traditional diets (in the form of turmeric) or in the form of modern supplements. Curcumin extracted from turmeric inherits taste, odor, and impurities, and to overcome such properties, scientists have developed a synthetic route to manufacture highly purified curcumin (up to 99% by high-performance liquid chromatography). Synthetic curcumin is odorless and tasteless and lacks batch-to-batch variation.[1] The purpose of the monograph is to discuss abundant scientific information available on synthetic curcumin. The monograph does not address regulatory aspects of the topic. However, the scientific understanding of synthetic curcumin has grown substantially in the past few years, and evidences for the many potential health benefits of synthetic curcumin have been documented.

Scientists have investigated the radiosensitizing properties of 99% pure curcumin in p53 mutant prostate cancer cell line PC-3. Curcumin was reported to inhibit endogenous tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α as well as radiation-induced TNF-α protein expression in PC-3 cells. Sensitization in prostate cancer cells was conferred by the inhibition of radiation-induced prosurvival factors such as NFkB and Bcl-2. Results suggested that the down-regulation of endogenous and radiation-induced Bcl-2 protein expressions in PC-3 cells has significant therapeutic benefits in the majority of prostate cancer patients since Bcl-2 protein is overexpressed in these patients. Curcumin was also found to inhibit cell proliferation induced by growth factors.[2] In a different study, researchers have mentioned that curcumin could prove an effective chemopreventive agent for bladder cancer recurrence when administered intravesically posttherapy.[3] Effect of synthetically derived curcumin on colorectal cancer was studied in male F344 rats. Dietary-administrated curcumin during the promotion/progression stage of azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis significantly inhibited tumor growth in a dose-dependent manner and increased apoptosis in the colonic tumors.[4] Curcumin was found to cause apoptosis in scleroderma lung fibroblasts, but not in normal lung fibroblasts.[5] The observation suggested that curcumin may have therapeutic value in treating scleroderma.

Scientists at University of Bern, Switzerland, compared synthetic and natural curcumin in oral mucositis and concluded that synthetic curcumin is a safe, equipotent, and more palatable alternative to natural curcumin for the development of an oral anti-mucositis agent.[6] In another study, the anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic efficacy of curcumin was confirmed in silico, in vitro, and in vivo. Primary in silico docking studies ascertained the multi-target potency of curcumin with crucial inflammatory mediators such as lipoxygenase, P38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, protein kinase C, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase.[7] Curcumin also found to have potent anti-allergic properties as indicated in cell lines studies.[8] Antioxidant potential and free radical scavenging abilities of synthetic curcumin were also evaluated using different models such as reducing potential, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl, superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and nitric oxide radical scavenging, and the efficacy was reported in a dose-dependent manner. Results were reproduced in ex vivo models such as erythrocyte lipid peroxidation and erythrocyte hemolysis.[9]

The high safety profile of curcumin was observed from 90-day repeated-dose oral toxicity studies, bacterial reverse mutation test, and the mammalian micronucleus test suggest that synthetic curcumin is not of mutagenic concern whereas results of the 90-day repeated oral dose studies, with a 90-day no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 1000 mg/kg bw/day in Wistar rats suggest that the compound is safe.[10] In another report, the acute oral LD50 of synthetic curcumin was found to be >5000 mg/kg bw in female Sprague–Dawley rats.[11] A clinical trial at National Taiwan University Hospital and Kaohsiung Medical College, Taiwan, demonstrated that curcumin was safe to humans up to 8000 mg/day when taken by mouth for 3 months.[12] In conclusion, based on the above findings, synthetic curcumin could be a safe and well-studied ingredient for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Jain R. Nature identical curcumin. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2013;3:134.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chendil D, Ranga RS, Meigooni D, Sathishkumar S, Ahmed MM. Curcumin confers radiosensitizing effect in prostate cancer cell line PC-3. Oncogene 2004;23:1599-607.  Back to cited text no. 2
Hauser PJ, Han Z, Sindhwani P, Hurst RE. Sensitivity of bladder cancer cells to curcumin and its derivatives depends on the extracellular matrix. Anticancer Res 2007;27:737-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kawamori T, Lubet R, Steele VE, Kelloff GJ, Kaskey RB, Rao CV, et al. Chemopreventive effect of curcumin, a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent, during the promotion/progression stages of colon cancer. Cancer Res 1999;59:597-601.  Back to cited text no. 4
Tourkina E, Gooz P, Oates JC, Ludwicka-Bradley A, Silver RM, Hoffman S, et al. Curcumin-induced apoptosis in scleroderma lung fibroblasts: Role of protein kinase cepsilon. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2004;31:28-35.  Back to cited text no. 5
Lüer SC, Goette J, Troller R, Aebi C. Synthetic versus natural curcumin: Bioequivalence in an in vitro oral mucositis model. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014;14:53.  Back to cited text no. 6
Jain R, Tiwari A. Synthetic curcumin: An update on efficacy and safety. Adv Biomed Res 2016;5:65.  Back to cited text no. 7
Venkata M, Sripathy R, Anjana D, Somashekara N. In silico, in vitro and in vivo assessment of safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin. Am J Infect Dis 2012;8:26-33.  Back to cited text no. 8
Borra SK, Gurumurthy P, Mahendra J, Jayamathi KM, Cherian CN, Chand R. Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of curcumin determined by using different in vitro and ex vivo models. J Med Plants Res 2013;7:2680-90.  Back to cited text no. 9
Damarla SR, Komma R, Bhatnagar U, Rajesh N, Mulla SM. An evaluation of the genotoxicity and subchronic oral toxicity of synthetic curcumin. J Toxicol 2018;2018:27  Back to cited text no. 10
Ravindran J, Subbaraju GV, Ramani MV, Sung B, Aggarwal BB. Bisdemethylcurcumin and structurally related hispolon analogues of curcumin exhibit enhanced prooxidant, anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory activities in vitro. Biochem Pharmacol 2010;79:1658-66.  Back to cited text no. 11
Cheng AL, Hsu CH, Lin JK, Hsu MM, Ho YF, Shen TS, et al. Phase I clinical trial of curcumin, a chemopreventive agent, in patients with high-risk or pre-malignant lesions. Anticancer Res 2001;21:2895-900.  Back to cited text no. 12


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