Application of ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify curcumin metabolites produced by human intestinal bacteria.
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2015 Mar 15 ;985:38-47. Epub 2015 Jan 24. PMID: 25658514
Curcumin, a yellow pigment derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa Linn, is a natural antioxidant that exhibits a variety of pharmacological activities and therapeutic properties. However, as curcumin is generally conjugated when absorbed through the intestine, free curcumin is present at extremely low levels in the body. Thus, curcumin metabolites are presumed to be responsible for curcumin bioactivity. In this study, we describe a strategy using ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF MS) with automated data analysis software (MetaboLynx(XS)) for rapid analysis of the metabolic profile of curcumin in human intestinal flora. The results show that curcumin undergoes extensive phase I and phase II metabolism. A total of 23 curcumin metabolites were detected and identified in vitro. Furthermore, we identified a number of novel metabolic pathways of curcumin in the human intestinal microflora system.