Dietary antioxidants protect laboratory animals against the induction of tumours by a variety of chemical carcinogens. Among possible mechanism of protection against chemical carcinogenesis could be mediated via-antioxidant-dependent induction of detoxifying enzymes. Curcumin, a yellow pigment from Curcuma longa, is a major component of turmeric and is commonly used as a spice and food colouring material and exhibits antiinflammatory, antitumour, and antioxidant properties. In this study we therefore investigated the effect of dietary supplementation of curcumin on the activities of antioxidant and phase II-metabolizing enzymes involved in detoxification, and production of reactive oxygen species were quantified in ddY male mice. Dietary supplementation of curcumin (2%, w/v) to male ddY mice for 30 days significantly increased the activities of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and catalase to 189%, 179%, 189%, and 181% in liver and 143%, 134%, 167% and 115% in kidney respectively as compared with corresponding normal diet fed control (P<0.05-0.001). Parallel to these changes, curcumin feeding to mice also resulted in a considerable enhancement in the activity of phase II-metabolizing enzymes viz. glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase to 1.7 and 1.8 times in liver and 1.1 and 1.3 times in kidney respectively as compared with corresponding normal diet fed control (P<0.05-0.01). In general, the increase in activities of antioxidant and phase II-metabolizing enzymes was more pronounced in liver as compared to kidney. The induction of such detoxifying enzymes by curcumin suggest the potential value of this compound as protective agent against chemical carcinogenesis and other forms of electrophilic toxicity. The significance of these results can be implicated in relation to cancer chemopreventive effects of curcumin against the induction of tumours in various target organs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis