Regulative effects of curcumin spice administration on gut microbiota and its pharmacological implications
Curcumin, the major active component of turmeric ( Curcuma longa ), is widely used as a spice and food-coloring agent, and also exhibits multiple biological activities. However, as curcumin has poor systemic bioavailability its pharmacology remains to be elucidated. Owing to the high concentration of curcumin in the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration, we hypothesize that it may exert regulative effects on the gut microbiota. We investigated the regulative effects of oral curcumin administration on the gut microbiota of C57BL/6 mice and found that curcumin significantly affected the abundance of several representative families in gut microbial communities, including Prevotellaceae, Bacteroidaceae, and Rikenellaceae. Considering the pathogenic associations between gut microbiota and many diseases, the present findings may help us to interpret the therapeutic benefits of curcumin.