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PPAR Research
Volume 2007, Article ID 89369, 5 pages
Review Article

Mechanism of the Anti-inflammatory Effect of Curcumin: PPAR-γ Activation

1Division of Surgical Research, North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA
2Center for Immunology and Inflammation, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA

Received 4 June 2007; Accepted 21 November 2007

Academic Editor: John P. Vanden Heuvel

Copyright © 2007 Asha Jacob et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Curcumin, the phytochemical component in turmeric, is used as a dietary spice and a topical ointment for the treatment of inflammation in India for centuries. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is relatively insoluble in water, but dissolves in acetone, dimethylsulphoxide, and ethanol. Commercial grade curcumin contains 10–20% curcuminoids, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdesmethoxycurcumin and they are as effective as pure curcumin. Based on a number of clinical studies in carcinogenesis, a daily oral dose of 3.6 g curcumin has been efficacious for colorectal cancer and advocates its advancement into Phase II clinical studies. In addition to the anticancer effects, curcumin has been effective against a variety of disease conditions in both in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies. The present review highlights the importance of curcumin as an anti-inflammatory agent and suggests that the beneficial effect of curcumin is mediated by the upregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) activation.