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Lifestyle factors can modulate the production of inflammatory molecules, but not exclusively. They can also induce the production of ROS, which in turn can induce inflammation by regulating molecules such as pro-inflammatory transcription factors. Specifically, nutraceuticals play an interesting role in suppressing inflammatory pathways. They are food constituents with potential health benefits other than their nutritional value. They can be isolated from foods and sold in the form of dietary supplements. Nutraceuticals potentially useful against inflammation include caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), capsaicin, emodin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), guggulsterone, sanguinarine, deguelin, quercetin, ginseng, ginger, vitamins C and D, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), gentianine, and bromelain. Among others, curcumin and resveratrol seem particularly interesting. Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from the turmeric spice (Curcuma longa), and it is the yellow component of curry.

It can hinder cancer cell production and promote apoptosis by decreasing the production of p53, a protein mutated in over 50% of cancers, and of NF-kB. In a murine model of ovarian cancer, it was found to suppress the STAT3 pathway. Curcumin supplementation leads to a significant decrease in CRP levels, demonstrating an anti-inflammatory effect. Its action is based on multiple mechanisms that modulate the production and the activity of several molecules playing a role in inflammation (transcription factors such as NF-kB, cytokines such as IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α, and protein kinases).

It can also directly bind and inhibit cyclooxygenase COX-1 and COX-2 – the pharmacological targets of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) – a family of enzymes expressed in pathological conditions involving inflammation. Finally, curcumin is an antioxidant that suppresses ROS production, counteracts free oxygen radicals, and inhibits lipid peroxidation. Curcumin ingestion and pharmacologic use are labeled safe by the United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Both curcumin and turmeric extracts are non-mutagenic and non-genotoxic; standardized powder and extract are safe for human use even at high doses of 1.5 grams a day of curcumin and for periods up to 6 months. Adverse effects, including abdominal pain, nausea, and dyspepsia, are mild and similar to the placebic treatment. Furthermore, resveratrol is a polyphenol. It is found in the fruits of different blueberry species (Vaccinium myrtillus, V. angustifolium, V. ashei, and V. corymbosum), in other berries, in grapes, in peanuts, and in other plant sources; plants produce it in response to environmental stress, to which it promotes resistance.

Today, it is protective option against several lifestyle-related conditions, including inflammation and cancer. Resveratrol downregulates the inflammatory response by inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediators and transcription factors. It is the phytochemical characterized as having the strongest activity similar to sirtuins, which are chemicals exerting an inhibitory action against COX-1. Moreover, it exerts interesting effects that are potentially useful against cancer, acting on oxidative stress and apoptosis, and influencing angiogenesis. As with curcumin, resveratrol also inhibits Nf-kB. Moreover, it lowers the expression levels of key inflammatory factors; among others, it downregulates IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-α, and suppresses STAT3 and MMPs.