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Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 783; doi:10.3390/nu9070783

Synergistic Interplay between Curcumin and Polyphenol-Rich Foods in the Mediterranean Diet: Therapeutic Prospects for Neurofibromatosis 1 Patients

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Human Physiology and Unit of Dietetics and Sports Medicine, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli 16, 80138 Naples, Italy
Division of Neurology, Center for Rare Diseases & Inter University Center for Research in Neurosciences, Department of Medical, Surgical, Neurologic, Metabolic and Aging Sciences, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, via Sergio Pansini, 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, Neuroradiology, University “Federico II”, via Pansini, 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
Department of Experimental Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli 16, 80138 Naples, Italy
Institute of Agro-environmental and Forest Biology, National Research Council, via Pietro Castellino 111, 80131 Naples, Italy
ISAFOM, National Research Council, via Patacca 85, Ercolano (NA), 80056 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Polyphenol-Rich Foods on Human Health)
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Neurofibromas are the hallmark lesions in Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1); these tumors are classified as cutaneous, subcutaneous and plexiform. In contrast to cutaneous and subcutaneous neurofibromas, plexiform neurofibromas can grow quickly and progress to malignancy. Curcumin, a turmeric-derived polyphenol, has been shown to interact with several molecular targets implicated in carcinogenesis. Here, we describe the impact of different dietary patterns, namely Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) compared to the Western diet (WesDiet), both with or without curcumin, on NF1 patients’ health. After six months, patients adopting a traditional MedDiet enriched with 1200 mg curcumin per day (MedDietCurcumin) presented a significant reduction in the number and volume of cutaneous neurofibromas; these results were confirmed in subsequent evaluations. Notably, in one patient, a large cranial plexiform neurofibroma exhibited a reduction in volume (28%) confirmed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Conversely, neither unenriched MedDiet nor WesDiet enriched with curcumin exhibited any significant positive effect. We hypothesize that the combination of a polyphenol-rich Mediterranean diet and curcumin was responsible for the beneficial effect observed on NF1. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first experience with curcumin supplementation in NF1 patients. Our report suggests that an integrated nutritional approach may effectively aid in the management of NF1. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurofibromatosis 1; neurofibromas; curcumin; diet; polyphenols neurofibromatosis 1; neurofibromas; curcumin; diet; polyphenols

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Esposito, T.; Schettino, C.; Polverino, P.; Allocca, S.; Adelfi, L.; D’Amico, A.; Capaldo, G.; Varriale, B.; Di Salle, A.; Peluso, G.; Sorrentino, G.; Lus, G.; Sampaolo, S.; Di Iorio, G.; Melone, M.A.B. Synergistic Interplay between Curcumin and Polyphenol-Rich Foods in the Mediterranean Diet: Therapeutic Prospects for Neurofibromatosis 1 Patients. Nutrients 2017, 9, 783.

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