Curcumin, the Unexpected Compound for Your Immune System : Terry Talks Nutrition

Study Spotlight

Study Spotlight

Curcumin, the Unexpected Compound for Your Immune System

We usually think of inflammation as being something connected to joint pain, or possibly digestive disorders. But the fact is, inflammation makes immune system flare-ups worse, too.

Curcumin, the beneficial, clinically studied compound from turmeric, can help mitigate inflammation throughout the body during times of illness and immune system challenges. A review found that while curcumin is associated with cancer-fighting immune actions, it may have broader applications for a variety of conditions.

Because the lungs, sinuses, and digestive system all deal with inflammatory reactions due to bacterial and viral invaders, this is positive news. The ability of curcumin to inhibit common markers that would otherwise increase the severity of symptoms means that this botanical may be a powerful, if unexpected, line of defense.


Kahkhaie KR, Mirhosseini A, Aliabadi A, et al. Curcumin: a modulator of inflammatory signaling pathways in the immune system [published correction appears in Inflammopharmacology. 2019 Aug 19;:]. Inflammopharmacology. 2019;27(5):885-900

Curcumin is a natural compound derived from the spice, turmeric, that has been extensively reported for its efficacy in controlling or treatment of several inflammatory diseases. There is a growing body of literature that recognizes the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin in the immune system. On the other hand, the role of inflammatory signaling pathways has been highlighted in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases, and signaling molecules involved in these pathways are considered as valuable targets for new treatment approaches. We aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of the modulatory effects of curcumin on inflammatory signaling pathways which leads to inhibition of inflammation in different types of immune cells and animal models. In this comprehensive review, we elaborate on how curcumin can effectively inhibit multiple signaling molecules involved in inflammation including NF-κB, JAKs/STATs, MAPKs, β-catenin, and Notch-1.

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