Curcumin is the yellow colored pigment which mostly comes from the botanical turmeric, but is also found more limited in ginger. Turmeric usage in medicine is at least 2,500 years old. Turmeric and ginger both come from the family Zingiberaceae.
Curcumin, which is really a collection of curcuminoids, are polyphenols which exhibit very potent anti-oxidative effects. Considering the long usage of the turmeric root in the history of medicine, scientists and researchers have been studying curcuminoid compounds and their effect on different biochemical pathways in the body. Research on curcumin is exploding with more than 2,000 reports presently available. Curcumin acts on multiple targets and at multiple levels. There are a number of transcription factors and signaling pathways modulated by curcumin. It is an antioxidant that can effectively scavenge oxygen and nitrogen free radicals.
Curcumin modulates agents in the complex process of inflammation, including cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, growth factors and transcription factors such as NF-KB and AP-1, and a large number of kinases, notably the MAP kinases p38 and JNK. It is an inhibitor of histone acetyltransferases thereby preventing the transcription of inflammatory genes. It has been shown to benefit insulin resistance. Further, it can sensitize insulin by inducing the transcription factor PPARy, similar to the thiazolidinediones currently used for this purpose.
Most curcumin supplements are poorly absorbed, however the patented BCM-95 is 100% pure extract of turmeric standardized to contain Curcumin, Demethoxy Curcumin, Bis-Demethoxy Curcumin & Essential Oils of turmeric rhizome. Essential Oils used in BCM-95 are extracted using double steam distillation. Contents of Essential Oils are 7-9% with ar-tumerone, α-tumerone and β-tumerone around 50%.
Curcumin inhibits both the cyclooxygenase and peroxidase activities of the enzyme (COX-2). Curcumin may be superior to commonly used NSAIDS, which have anti-inflammatory and chemo preventative effects. Studies show that curcumin does not alter the expression of COX-1 an additional benefit over NSAID use.