In laboratory animals, the acute oral toxicity of turmeric oleoresin and its major colouring principle, curcumin, was low. Curcumin administered by stomach tube produced stomach ulcers in rats. Repeated oral doses of turmeric or its oleoresin were evidently without effect on the major organs and blood of rats, mice, guinea-pigs, dogs and monkeys, though a comprehensive study with the oleoresin in the pig showed mild changes to the liver, thyroid, bladder and kidney. Turmeric was not carcinogenic in a limited feeding study in rats, but comprehensive oral studies on turmeric oleoresin and curcumin are in progress. Chromosomal damage has been induced by curcumin and a turmeric extract in mammalian cells in culture, and oral administration of curcumin or turmeric oleoresin has produced evidence of chromosome damage in rodents. Limited Ames bacterial tests with turmeric oleoresin or curcumin have given little indication of mutagenic potential. Skin sensitization to turmeric has been reported.

Date of Publication: 1991

Number of Pages: 7

CAS Number*: 8024-37-1


Format: PDF available for immediate download

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