Antioxidant Activity of Curcumin and Neem (Azadirachta indica) Powders: Combination Studies with ALA Using MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

T Cheung, Poonam Singh - Nee Nigam, Richard Owusu-Apenten

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Introduction: Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women globally. The essential fatty acid α-Linolenic acid (ALA) and its oxidation products inhibit cancer cell proliferation. The effect of natural antioxidants on ALA anticancer effects has not been well characterized. Aims: To assess the effect of curcumin and neem leaf powder extract, on ALA cytotoxicity activity towards MCF-7 breast cancers.Study Design: In-vitro testing.Methodology: Antioxidant activity of neem extract and curcumin were evaluated using, four assays: Total phenolic content, Ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay or 2, 2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) assay. Cytotoxicity activity was assessed using MCF7 cells grown in DMEM (+10% FBS) and evaluated using Sulforhodamine B colorimetric assay for cell cytotoxicity.Results: Curcumin and neem leaf extract had significant antioxidant power, and values varied between the four assays. Treatments of MCF7 cells with ALA, (0-500 µM) curcumin (0-50 µM), and neem leaf extract (0-88 µM) individually produced a concentration-dependent decrease in MCF-7 cell viability. Combination treatments using ALA with curcumin and ALA with neem were significantly less effective compared to individual treatments.Conclusion: Combinations studies indicate that the natural antioxidants curcumin and neem reduce the inhibitory effect of α-Linolenic acid towards MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalJournal of Applied Life Sciences International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Jan 2016


  • Antioxidant
  • total phenols
  • curcumin
  • neem (Azadirachta indica)
  • linolenic acid
  • MCF-7 cell
  • anticancer.


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