curcumin

Definition / meaning of curcumin

A phytopolylphenol pigment isolated from the plant Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, with a variety of pharmacologic properties. Curcumin blocks the formation of reactive-oxygen species, possesses anti-inflammatory properties as a result of inhibition of cyclooxygenases (COX) and other enzymes involved in inflammation; and disrupts cell signal transduction by various mechanisms including inhibition of protein kinase C. These effects may play a role in the agent’s observed antineoplastic properties, which include inhibition of tumor cell proliferation and suppression of chemically induced carcinogenesis and tumor growth in animal models of cancer.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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