Curcumin, hormesis and the nervous system

Cesare Mancuso, Maria Concetta Scuto, Barbara Tomasello, Maria Laura Ontario, Andrea Cavallaro, Francesco Frasca, Luigi Maiolino, Angela Trovato Salinaro, Edward J. Calabrese, Vittorio Calabrese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Curcumin is a polyphenol compound extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa Linn (family Zingiberaceae) commonly used as a spice to color and flavor food. Several preclinical studies have suggested beneficial roles for curcumin as an adjuvant therapy in free radical-based diseases, mainly neurodegenerative disorders. Indeed, curcumin belongs to the family of hormetins and the enhancement of the cell stress response, mainly the heme oxygenase-1 system, is actually considered the common denominator for this dual response. However, evidence-based medicine has clearly demonstrated the lack of any therapeutic effect of curcumin to contrast the onset or progression of neurodegeneration and related diseases. Finally, the curcumin safety profile imposes a careful analysis of the risk/benefit balance prior to proposing chronic supplementation with curcumin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Antioxidants
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Hormesis
  • Vitagenes


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