Turmeric Phosphatidylcholine Complex
Stephen F. Olmstead, MD, via our brand partner ProThera®
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an herb from India and southeast Asia used for centuries in cooking as a spice, colorant, and food preservative as well as a prized botanical in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine.1,2 Turmeric is part of the ginger family of herbs, the Zingiberaceae. The root and rhizome are dried, crushed, and powdered.2 The active component of turmeric is the polyphenol curcumin, which usually comprises 2% to 5% of the herb by weight.
In addition to curcumin, turmeric contains other curcuminoids such as demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and cyclocurcumin which have substantially less biological activity to no biological activity. Curcumin is an astonishingly pleiotropic molecule with a plethora of physiologic activities.3 Curcumin directly targets over 100 protein kinases, transcription factors, enzymes, growth factors, adhesion molecules, and proteins associated with apoptosis. It scavenges free radicals and hydroxyl ions. It binds cationic metals such as iron and copper. Since 1949, nearly 9,000 papers have been published detailing the beneficial activities of curcumin in vitro and in vivo as an effective anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antimutagenic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and proapoptotic agent.3,4