Curcumin and the cellular stress response in free radical-related diseases

Vittorio Calabrese, Timothy E. Bates, Cesare Mancuso, Carolin Cornelius, Bernardo Ventimiglia, Maria Teresa Cambria, Laura Di Renzo, Antonino De Lorenzo, Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Free radicals play a main pathogenic role in several human diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, and cancer. Although there has been progress in treatment of these diseases, the development of important side effects may complicate the therapeutic course. Curcumin, a well known spice commonly used in India to make foods colored and flavored, is also used in traditional medicine to treat mild or moderate human diseases. In the recent years, a growing body of literature has unraveled the antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, and antinfectious activity of curcumin based on the ability of this compound to regulate a number of cellular signal transduction pathways. These promising data obtained in vitro are now being translated to the clinic and more than ten clinical trials are currently ongoing worldwide. This review outlines the biological activities of curcumin and discusses its potential use in the prevention and treatment of human diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1073
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Curcumin
  • Free radicals
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Neurodegenerative disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology


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