Dr. Eike B. Bauer
Final Abstract for URS Program
Curcumin (C21H20O6), the main active component in the spice Turmeric, has many recognized health benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory agents to the suppression of the proliferation of tumors. Curcumin has been used worldwide as an antiseptic and treatment for inflammatory conditions, arthritis, and sepsis. This water-insoluble molecule is unstable and degrades quickly upon entering the body. In order to preserve the beneficial structure of curcumin before it is broken down by the digestive system, carbohydrates are attached to alter the compound, increasing polarity and solubility. This topic was researched by analyzing multiple journal articles and research methods in order to synthesize useful variations of curcumin. The research conducted follows the acetylation of the cyclic regions and the addition of functional groups to the central carbon’s hydrogen. Further stages of research could produce a curcumin derivative with potential medical applications.