In vitro Evidence

Curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin and turmerones differentially regulate anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative responses through a ROS-independent mechanism
Carcinogenesis. 2007;28(8):1765-73
Due to lack of understanding about the active principles or molecular targets, traditional medicines which are inexpensive and believed to be possessing broad-spectrum of activity are rarely been utilized in the modern set-up of therapy.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), has been used since ages in Ayurveda, an Indian traditional system of medicine for a wide variety of ailments ranging from inflammation to cancer. There are numerous studies performed where it has been proved that turmeric can be a suitable agent to treat most of the physiological disorders. Hence, understanding of the active components and their mechanism of action can make turmeric more acceptable. 

 To evaluate the effect of different analogs of curcumin in turmeric such as demethoxycurcumin (DMC), bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC), tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) and turmerones on anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activities.

Study Design:

By column chromatography different analogs were separated and chemistry was understood. Different types of cancer cell lines were treated with different doses of each analog of these isolated compounds. The following assays were performed to check the inflammation and proliferation rate, and the levels of other gene markers related to cancer.

  1. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay
  2. NF-κB-dependent reporter gene expression assay
  3. Western blot analysis  
  4.  Measurement of ROS
  5.  Intracellular GSH measurement
  • Curcumin mixture showed good results when compared to individual analogs as the best anticancer agent
  • Amongst the most important analogs like Curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin, Curcumin displayed the best results followed by bisdemethoxycurcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin, respectively
  • Ar-turmerone and α/β-turmerones showed no effect on TNF-induced NF-κB activation, which suggests that turmerones lack the anti-inflammatory activity unlike Curcumin

 It was concluded that different analogs of Curcumin that are present in turmeric exhibit variable anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activities, which do not correlate with their ability to modulate the reactive oxygen species status.