Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae) is a coloring agent, has been found to be a rich source of phenolic compounds, namely, curcuminoids (2-5%). C. longa consists of a mixture of three naturally occurring curcuminoids. Curcumin the principal curcuminoid (about 80%) and other two curcuminoids are demethoxycurcumin (about 12%) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (about 8%).
Curcuminoids are recognized for their broad spectrum biological activities and have been generally regarded as safe (GRAS) in foods or pharmaceuticals. Curcumin is widely used for coloring of foods like pickles and snacks.
Many pharmacological properties have been attributed to curcuminoids including anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activities, antioxidant and cholekinetic activities[3, 4] and anti-protease activity[5, 6]. In addition, apoptosis have been shown to induce in human cancer cells by the curcuminoids and act as a chemopreventive agents for major types of cancer, including the stomach, lung, breast, prostate, colon and duodenal cancers, as well as leukemias[8–12] and display neuroprotective effects. Curcumin has also been reported a more potent free radical scavenger than vitamin E.
It is also known for its potential use of curcumin in the treatment of infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is also reported.
Quantification of the active metabolite, THC in plasma and urine by HPLC method has also been reported and simultaneous quantification of diferuloylmethane and its metabolites in biological matrices has been reported by LC/MS/MS.
Hence, due to the immense biological importance of curcumin and its analogues, there is a need for effective, rapid and more sensitive methods to monitor curcuminoids. Various HPLC methods are available in literature for determination of curcuminoids[19–29]. HPLC-MS methods also reported to provide quantitation of curcuminoids[30–32].
In recent times UPLC with qTof-MS is widely considered analytical technique for better quality data in terms of increased detection limits, and chromatographic resolution with greater sensitivity. This paper presents (i) a method for the simultaneous determination of curcuminoids by UPLC–qTOF-MS, and (ii) a pharmacokinetic study of curcumin in mice.