Curcumin inhibits nitric oxide synthase gene expression


Curcumin inhibits nitric oxide synthase gene expression

Curcumin is a naturally occurring, dietary polyphenolic phytochemical that has been shown to inhibit cancer among other things. With respect to inflammation, it inhibits the activation of free radical activated transcription factors, and reduces the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), interleukin-1 and interleukin-8). Upon inflammation, an enzyme is induced (nitric oxide synthase) that catalyzes the production of nitric oxide (NO), a molecule that may lead to carcinogenesis. In this study in mouse immune cells curcumin reduced the production of nitric oxide in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, curcumin reduced nitric oxide expression in the livers of mice by 50-70%. Investigators were able to obtain potency at nanomoles per gram of body weight, even though it is believed that curcumin needs to be given at dosages that are unattainable through diet to produce an in vivo effect. Inhibition was not observed in mice that were fed ad lib., suggesting that food intake may interfere with the absorption of curcumin.

Biochemical Pharmacology, 1998, Vol 55, Iss 12, pp 1955-1962

Life Extension Foundation.

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