Effect of organic curcumin and thymoquinone on treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Javad Yaghmoorian khojini,1,* Yaser sharaj sharifi,3

1. BsC in Cellular and molecular biology-Department of Biology-Faculty of Sciences-University of Isfahan
3. MsC in Agricultural Biotechnology-sari agricultural & natural resources University



The term arthritis is derived from the greek words -artho- and -itis- meaning joint and inflammation، respectively. rheumatoid arthritis (ra)، which is detected by pain، swelling and joint damage، is one of the most common chronic inflammatory diseases of the joints. approximately 1% of the world s population suffers from this disease، and more than 3.000.000 new cases are detected every year. ra not only causes a disability that affects physical activity and mobility، but also causes premature death، in addition، ra patients have a much shorter life expectancy than the general population. therefore، developing a more effective treatment strategy for ra with a focus on the prevention and treatment of disease، complications and related disorders is necessary. curcumin (cm) is a hydrophobic polyphenol extracted from a turmeric plant. cm has various therapeutic activities against many chronic diseases such as cancer، type ii diabetes، multiple sclerosis، alzheimer s disease and atherosclerosis. the molecular mechanisms for these therapeutic effects consist of not only the suppression of cell proliferation and metastasis but also down-regulation of various factors، such as nuclear factor kappa b (nf-κb)، interleukin (il)-1β، tumor necrosis factor (tnf)-α، hypoxia-inducible factor-1α، and activator protein. thymoquinone، the predominant component of n. sativa oil، has a wide range of beneficial effects. nigella sativa l. (ranunculaceae) (n. sativa) is an annual herbaceous plant that is native to southeastern asia and cultivated in europe and north africa. n. sativa grains are commonly known as black cumin، and as spices and condiment are consumed. in traditional medicine، n. sativa is used to treat many diseases including asthma، hypertension، diabetes، inflammation، cough، bronchitis، headache، eczema، fever، dizziness and influenza. recent reports from studies in various countries have shown that n. sativa is commonly used by cancer patients as a supplement (ds) in complementary and alternative medicine (cam) with chemotherapy. the extract of n. sativa seeds، fixed oil and essential oil showed a wide range of favorable biological activity، most notably antioxidant، anti-inflammatory، antibacterial، hepatoprotective، anti-mutagenic and antitumor activities.


Many studies have been carried out in recent years on the pharmacological effects of curcumin & thymoquinone that has uncovered their biological activity.


Brahim tekeoglu et al. (2007) explored the anti-inflammatory effects of thymoquinone on arthritis in rat models. they stated that thymoquinone، confirmed clinically and radiologically، suppressed adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. tamer et al. (2012) studied the effectiveness of nigella sativa oil in ra patients. they indicated that supplementation with nigella sativa during dmard therapy in ra may be considered an affordable potential adjuvant biological therapy. hadi et al. (2014) evaluated effects of nigella sativa oil extract on inflammatory cytokine response and oxidative stress status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized، double-blind، placebo-controlled clinical trial. they concluded that nigella sativa could improve inflammation and reduce oxidative stress in patients with ra. it is suggested that nigella sativa may be a beneficial adjunct therapy in this population of patients. zhaoling zheng et al. (2015) reported that cm is an effective ant arthritic agent، and current n formulation appears to be a promising system that turns ra s treatment with cm from iv to oral administration.


This study demonstrated that thymoquinone & curcumin could improve inflammation and reduce oxidative stress in patients with ra and suggested that supplementation with these biological compounds may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy in this population of patients. we believe that our results will contribute to the clinical application of nigella sativa in management of patients with ra.


Curcumin-thymoquinone-rheumatoid arthritis