Curcumin (Turmeric) and cancer

Unlu A., Nayir E., KALENDEROĞLU M. D., Kirca O., Ozdogan M.

JOURNAL OF BUON, vol.21, no.5, pp.1050-1060, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF BUON
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1050-1060
  • Keywords: alternative medicine, cancer, complementary medicine, curcuma longa, curcumin, turmeric, ADVANCED PANCREATIC-CANCER, HUMAN BREAST-CANCER, KAPPA-B PATHWAY, PROSTATE-CANCER, IN-VIVO, P-GLYCOPROTEIN, CLINICAL-TRIAL, GOLDEN SPICE, DOUBLE-BLIND, LUNG-CANCER
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Curcumin is a substance obtained from the root of the turmeric plant, which has the feature of being a yellow or orange pigment. It is also the main component of curry powder commonly used in Asian cuisine. Curcumin, a substance that has had an important place in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines for thousands of years, has been the center of interest for scientific studies especially in the field of cancer treatment for several years. Laboratory studies have presented some favorable results in terms of curcumin's antioxidant, antiinflammatory and anticancer properties in particular. However, since such findings have yet to be confirmed in clinical studies, its effect on humans is not clearly known. Therefore, when its advantages in terms of toxicity, cost and availability as well as the favorable results achieved in laboratory studies are considered, it would not be wrong to say that curcumin is a substance worth being studied. However, for now the most correct approach is to abstain from its use for medical purposes due to lack of adequate reliable evidence obtained from clinical studies, and because of its potential to interfere with other drugs.