Because tumor necrosis factors (TNFs) are major mediators of inflammation and inflammation-related diseases, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved blockers of the cytokine, TNF-α, which include chimeric TNF antibody (Infliximab), humanized TNF-α antibody (Humira), and soluble TNF receptor-II (Enbrel). TNF blockers are now being used for the treatment of osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and ankylosis at a total cumulative market value of more than $20 billion/year. Besides being expensive ($15,000-20,000/person/year), these drugs must be injected and have enough adverse effects to be given a black label warning by the FDA. In the current report, we describe an alternative, curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a component of turmeric (Curcuma longa) that is very inexpensive, orally bioavailable, and highly safe in humans, yet can block TNF-α action and production in in vitro models, in animal models, and in humans. In addition, we provide evidence for curcumin's activities against all of the diseases for which TNF blockers are being used. Mechanisms by which curcumin inhibits the production and the cell signaling pathways activated by this cytokine are also discussed. With health care costs and safety being major issues today, this golden spice may help provide the solution.
Related Content
Protective effects of nanoparticulate coenzyme Q1 and curcumin on inflammatory markers and lipid metabolism in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: a possible remedy to diabetic complications
Diabetes and its complications have been linked to increased levels of free radicals and systemic pro-inflammatory cytokines and to an altered lipid profile. Coenzyme Q1 and curcumin are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents but are underutilized clinically because of their poor bioava...


Transdermal delivery of cyclodextrin-solubilized curcumin
The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the effect of cyclodextrin (CD) as permeation enhancer through rat skin in the form of a valuable and stable transdermal drug delivery system by exploiting its favorable properties. Phase-solubility studies demonstrated that the CD:drug rati...
Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials
Extensive research over the past half century has shown that curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a component of the golden spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), can modulate multiple cell signaling pathways. Extensive clinical trials over the past quarter century have addressed the pharmacokinetics, safety, ...


Anti-inflammatory and apoptotic effects of the polyphenol curcumin on human fibroblast-like synoviocytes
It has recently been reported that the polyphenol curcumin has pronounced anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic properties. This study investigated possible anti-inflammatory and apoptotic effects of curcumin on the human synovial fibroblast cell line MH7A, and on fibroblast-like...
Curcumin induces apoptotic cell death of activated human CD4+ T cells via increasing endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial dysfunction
Curcumin, a natural polyphenolic antioxidant compound, exerts well-known anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, the latter which can influence the activation of immune cells including T cells. Furthermore, curcumin can inhibit the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, ...

Promising Curcumin-based Drug Design: Mono-carbonyl Analogues of Curcumin (MACs)
Curcumin exhibits a surprisingly wide range of chemo-preventive and chemo-therapeutic activities. Curcumin has undergone more than 40 clinical trials for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and various human cancers. However, phase I/II clinical trials have shown that curcumin exhibit poor bio...
Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activities of Curcumin on Diabetes Mellitus and its Complications
Diabetes mellitus (DM) has reached pandemic status and shows no signs of abatement. It can severely impair people's quality of life and affects patients all over the world. Since it is a serious, chronic metabolic disease, it can bring about many kinds of complications, which can in turn incr...

Perspectives on New Synthetic Curcumin Analogs and their Potential Anticancer Properties
Curcumin is the active component of dried rhizome of Curcuma longa, a perennial herb belonging to ginger family, cultivated extensively in south and southeastern tropical Asia. It is widely consumed in the Indian subcontinent, south Asia and Japan in traditional food recipes. Extensive research o...
The Clinical Applications of Curcumin: Current State and the Future
Curcumin is a natural polyphenol product derived from the rhizome of the Curcuma longa. In vivo and in vitro studies have uncovered many important bioactivities of curcumin, such as antioxidant activity, inducing cell apoptosis, inhibiting cell proliferation, anti-cell adhesion and motility, anti...

Recent Progress in Studying Curcumin and its Nano-preparations for Cancer Therapy
A hydrophobic polyphenol compound extracted from turmeric, curcumin has been widely utilized as traditional medicines for centuries in China and India. Over the last decades, because of its low toxicity, extensive studies have been focused on its physicochemical properties and pharmacological act...