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Curcumin, aka diferuoylmethane, is a curcuminoid found naturally in turmeric (Curcuma longa). Its biosynthetic pathway is derived from L-phenylalanine (plants make it starting from this). [1] It is closely related to ferulic acid (3-methoxy-4-hydroxycinnamic acid), and is partially metabolized into ferulic acid and also its methyl ester. [2]

It is purported to have health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and adaptogenic effects in humans. [3] It is poorly absorbed by oral ingestion, but therapeutic potential in the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, neurological diseases and Crohnʼs disease has been documented. [4]

Its bioavailability/potency can be enhanced by other compounds, such as piperine [5], or even CYP inhibitors like the furanocoumarins in grapefruit. Curcumin may act synergistically with other substances by binding to drug transporter enzymes and inhibiting them. [6]


[1] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2670121/figure/fig1/

[2] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4752206/

[3] – https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/3/264

[4] – https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/mp700113r

[5] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120

[6] – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949817302077