Effect of Curcumin on the Diversity of Gut Microbiota
Pp. 148-174 (27)
Curcumin, the main active component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), is
widely used as a flavoring and coloring agent in food, and also exhibits multiple
pharmacological activities. It has been traditionally used in Asian countries as a
medical herb for several pathologies due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant,
antimicrobial, antimutagenic, and anticancer properties. Further, curcumin may
potentially complement the conventional treatment of insulin resistant conditions,
including obesity, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and type II diabetes. Recently, its
potential utility in Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) had been demonstrated.
However, curcumin has poor systemic bioavailability which makes its pharmacology
intriguing and also hinders its clinical application. It also suffers from
biotransformation during the absorption from the bowel and reductive metabolites are
the predominant metabolites in the human intestinal microflora system and appear to be
easily conjugated especially by glucuronidation to form tetrahydrocurcumin and
In the recent years, an exponentially increasing number of studies have proved that the
alterations in the gut microbiota are linked with many metabolic diseases, and the
intestinal microbiota is proposed to be a novel potential therapeutic target for these
microbiota-associated diseases. Owing to the high concentration of curcumin in the
gastrointestinal tract after oral administration, a number of researches have been
conducted to evaluate its regulative effects on the gut microbiota.
Thus, the current chapter will be designed to review the two-way relationship between
curcumin and gut microbiota from two perspectives: i) impact of curcumin on gut
microbiota ii) curcumin biotransformation by GI microbiota. This chapter highlights
some important mechanisms of action of curcumin and opens the door for future
researches plan in order to use this natural compound in the treatment and prevention
of many human diseases.
Thus, the current chapter will be designed to review the regulative effects of oral
administration of curcumin on the gut microbiota in order to provide deeper insights
into the pharmacology of curcumin.
Bioavailability, Biological Activities, Biotransformation, Curcumin,
Gut Microbiota, Microbiota-Associated Diseases, Turmeric (Curcuma Longa),
Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Andalus University for Medical Sciences, Tartous, Syrian Arab Republic.