Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal actions. Studies have shown that curcumin is not toxic to humans. Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play an important role in inflammation. Turmeric is effective in reducing post-surgical inflammation. Turmeric helps to prevent atherosclerosis by reducing the formation of bloods clumps.
Curcumin inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastric ulcers and has been linked with gastric cancers.
Curcumin can bind with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, thereby reducing the toxicity of these heavy metals. This property of curcumin explains its protective action to the brain. Curcumin acts as an inhibitor for cyclooxygenase, 5-lipoxygenase and glutathione S-transferase.
Curcumin is used many foods as coloring, including mustard, margarine, processed cheese, cakes, curry powder, soft drinks and sweets.