Curcumin is the yellow pigment in spice- turmeric. The spice is extensively used in Indian and Middle Eastern food. The most important turmeric chemical components are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin constitutes 3.14% (on average) of powdered turmeric and gives the spice its peppery taste.
Traditionally, it has been used to treat skin, gastrointestinal, autoimmune, liver, eye, and other disorders. Turmeric is said to provide relief in allergies, gall bladder ailments, edema, tumors, and cataract. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are used to treat inflammations and infections.
Curcumin is a widely studied molecule. It boosts levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein and brain hormone that increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain. Curcumin has beneficial effects against several factors known to play a role in heart disease.
Researchers from Cancer Biology Research Center, South Dakota, claim that curcumin may be an effective chemopreventive and therapeutic agent for cervical cancer prevention and treatment. They found that curcumin treatment suppresses growth in cervical cancer cells by altering the HPV-associated molecular pathways. Basic research appears to validate the ability of curcumin to suppress several stages of cancer.