Curcumin is a yellow orange powder, which is extracted from the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa). Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of the turmeric (C. longa). Curcumin was first isolated in 1815 and its chemical structure was determined by Roughley and Whiting in 1973. It has been identified as 1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione-1,7-bis (4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-(1e,6e) or diferuloylmethane. Turmeric has been listed as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) as a coloring and flavoring agent in food by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As per WHO, as an additive the daily acceptable dose of curcumin for humans has been defined as 0–3 mg/kg body weight. Curcumin can be administered by different routes as topical, oral, and inhalational. Curcumin inserts deep into the cell membrane in a manner similar to cholesterol. Curcumin has a high lipophilic character, and body fat has a high percentage of bound curcumin. The systemic bioavailability of orally administered curcumin is low in humans and only traces of it have been found in the liver and portal circulation. Piperine has been reported to increase the bioavailability of curcumin. Recently, it has been reported that newly developed nanoparticulate curcumin has better bioavailability. There is a growing list of disease conditions that can be treated by curcumin. Curcumin has been found to have therapeutic effects in wound healing and in various types of arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, pulmonary diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin has been reported to have potential role in the treatment of atherosclerosis, arthritis, chronic anterior uveitis, colon cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis, hypercholesteremia, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and even HIV.
HIV; Colon Cancer; Wound Healing; Nanoparticulate, Lipophilic, Diferuloylmethane, Curcumin, Turmeric