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Turmeric root and powder as curcumin sources for immune function

How Does Curcumin Support Immune Function?*

Article Summary

  • Curcumin interacts with a wide range of signaling molecules and immune cells and acts as a potent immunomodulatory agent.*
  • Studies indicate that curcumin can down-regulate NF-κB, a protein complex that regulates innate immunity and serves as the immune response’s first line of defense. 
  • Tetrahydrocurcumin, a potent bioactive metabolite of curcumin, offers superior stability and absorption in the intestinal tract, making it a preferred active ingredient in an immune-supportive nutritional supplement.*  

The body’s natural inflammatory response, a protective biological reaction of the immune system, is carefully controlled by several signaling pathways. Failures in the regulatory mechanisms of these signaling pathways can result in adverse immune reactions. 

In recent years, the role of curcumin as an immunomodulating agent has been extensively researched.* Various studies have established the interaction of curcumin with a wide range of immune cells and signaling molecules, leading to the use of curcumin supplements for supporting immune function.*

How Curcumin Supports Immune Functions*

Before incorporating a curcumin supplement into your diet, you should understand how it can support immune function.* The body’s natural immune responses result from the activation of T cells, B cells, neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, and natural killer cells, among others. 

Activating these immune cells is mediated by various signaling pathways and transcription factors, including nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Several studies indicate the potential role of curcumin in down-regulating NF-κB.* The down-regulation of NF-κB, in turn, down-regulates the expression of various proinflammatory cytokines, the signaling molecules that promote adverse inflammatory reactions. 

Studies on Curcumin’s Support of Immune Function

Title Overview Findings
How curcumin influences serum cytokines in obese individuals

A clinical trial investigated curcumin’s role as a lipid-lowering agent in obese individuals.  Pro-inflammatory cytokine serum levels — IL-1β, IL-4, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) — showed improvement after intake of a curcumin supplement.* Findings indicate curcumin can beneficially alter circulating concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines.*
Immunomodulatory activity of curcumin
A study investigated curcumin’s effects on immune cells induced with mitogen or antigen (molecules that trigger immune cell functions). The results suggest curcumin can inhibit cytokine production by inhibiting the NF-κB target genes that induce immune responses.*
Effects of curcumin supplementation in fish
In a feeding trial, 300 animals consumed diets supplemented with curcumin to study its effects on immune function, growth performance, antioxidant response, and feed utility. There was a significant increase in lysozyme activity (an innate immune defense factor) and total immunoglobulin levels (IgG and IgM), the proteins the immune system uses to identify and neutralize foreign objects.*

Several signaling pathways, proteins/enzymes, receptors, and genes are involved when the body’s normal physiological and immune functions are impaired. The unique molecular chemical structure of curcumin has been found to bind readily with various biomolecules, including receptors, enzymes, signaling molecules, transcription factors, and proteins in cell membranes.* The interaction of curcumin with various biological targets to inhibit or activate their functions is worth noting, as it indicates its potential role in supporting immune function.*    

Enhancing Immune Function With a Curcumin Supplement

Although the beneficial effects of curcumin on immune function are well-established, the curcumin molecule in its free form displays poor solubility and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Its rapid degradation into inactive metabolites and elimination from the GI tract greatly reduces its efficacy as a nutritional supplement.  

Tetrahydrocurcumin, a bioactive metabolite of curcumin, exhibits beneficial properties similar to those of curcumin, but with greater stability. Tetrahydrocurcumin also appears to be a superior antioxidant, with studies indicating its easy absorption through the gastrointestinal tract.* 
TetraCumin® — Tesseract’s immune-supportive supplement contains tetrahydrocurcumin, in  either quick-release or sustained-release.* TetraCumin’s advanced formula uses the revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery system that masks curcumin’s unpleasant taste and odor while enabling targeted delivery of tetrahydrocurcumin molecules at the desired point in the intestinal tract.* This makes TetraCumin® a highly efficacious and patient-compliant nutritional supplement to promote healthy immune function.

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your immune health.*


1Ganjali S, Sahebkar A, Mahdipour E, et al. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014 Feb 11;2014:898361. doi: 10.1155/2014/898361. PMID: 24678280; PMCID: PMC3942342.

2Gao X, Kuo J, Jiang H, et al. Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Jul 1;68(1):51-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2004.03.015. PMID: 15183117.

3Mahmoud, HK, Al-Sagheer, A. A., Reda, F. M., et al. (2017). Aquaculture, 475, 16-23

4Hatamipour M, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. Curr Pharm Des. 2018;24(19):2129-2136. doi: 10.2174/1381612824666180522111036. PMID: 29788873.

5Hundshammer, C., Schön, C., Kimura, M., et al. (2021). Journal of Functional Foods, 79, 104410

Al Czap, Founder | Tesseract

Al Czap has more than four decades of professional experience in preventative medicine. He founded Thorne Research in 1984 (sold in 2010) and he published Alternative Medicine Review for 17 years beginning in 1996. AMR was a highly acclaimed, peer-reviewed, and indexed medical journal. Al was the first to recognize the need for hypoallergenic ingredients and to devise methods of manufacture for and delivery of hypoallergenic products to underserved patient populations. His work has greatly impacted those with impaired immune and digestive systems and compromised health due to environmental exposures.

The advanced formulations based on our revolutionary, patented, and patent-pending technology are only available through Tesseract. No other medical, pharmaceutical, or supplement company is licensed to utilize our proprietary technology.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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