Not exactly "countered", but addressed to some extent. The various molecules in curcumin can interfere with the classic measures of cell properties and give false positives. This research used a new (somewhat early stage) method based on electrical impedence that should not be vulnerable to these false signals.
The author's wrote: said...
other authors recently claimed that chemical properties of curcumin could have interfered with in vitro experiments in most studies, raising doubts on the beneficial effect of this substance . To obtain more robust data, we analyzed the anti-apoptotic properties of curcumin by exploiting different methods including label-free measures.
In particular, there was a recent warning about the possibility that much of the research data on curcumin may be weakened, or even invalidated, when natural properties of fluorescence and protein binding of the compound are taken into account . The inclusion in our research plan of a label-free assay based on cell impedance analysis allows ruling out such interferences.
also "it works" is too broad a term. It does seem to decrease cell death in the mucosa when exposed to IFN-gamma. This could potentially play a protective role in IBD pathogenesis - but that was not exactly studied in this research.
the authors wrote said...
Although a cell line cultured in the laboratory can hardly reflect the complex physiology of intestinal mucosa, HT29 cells are considered a good model to study cytokine-induced apoptosis in epithelial cells.
[...] Increased apoptosis in epithelial cells is thought to contribute to increased permeability and amplification of inflammation. Thus, inhibiting inflammation-induced epithelial cell apoptosis may be relevant to the prevention or the treatment of IBD
[...] Despite being encouraging, our results need further and deeper investigations aimed at establishing whether curcumin could be a potential therapeutic molecule for IBD and, in particular, for UC.
[...] since we used ultra-pure curcumin, we should warn about the risk of translating our results to commercially-available preparations of curcuma, which may contain several other compounds with contrasting effects on mucosal immunity
Further, the authors note that a drug based on curcumin - not the supplement curcumin itself - may have the most promise:
they point out said...
An issue that should be addressed to assess the real potential of curcumin into the clinic concerns its poor aqueous solubility and low bioavailability, which may hinder in vivo efficacy ; low plasma levels and limited tissue distribution of curcumin appear to be due to poor absorption, high-rate metabolism, and rapid systemic clearance.
A possible solution to these issues would be the development of different types of curcumin formulations, such as nanoparticles, liposomes, or phospholipid complexes, which increase and improve not only its stability, but also its biodistribution and absorption
Overall this is promising. Only a few biologics focus on cell adhesion, and this adds to the adhesion line of research, as well as potentially ties in with research on mucosal permeability and lasting GI distress after inflammation is controlled. Taken together with some of the Cannabinoids research, several new substances and mechanisms are showing promise in basic and animal research.
Just don't go out and eat a bottle of curcumin based on this early stages work. My advice would be to supplement in moderation, so if some of the other molecules prove harmful, you are not poisoning yourself.