Curcumin, a natural polyphenolic compound present in turmeric, exhibited multiple pharmacological
activities. Extensive studies in last two decade suggested that curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory, anticancer,
antiviral, anti-amyloid, antiarthritic and antioxidant properties. The mechanism for these effects involves modulation
of several signaling transduction pathways. Various clinical studies have suggested that curcumin might be a
potential candidate for the prevention and/or treatment of a variety of colonic diseases such as ulcerative colitis,
Crohn’s disease and colonic cancer. However, several evidences suggested the role of curcumin in multiple
diseases, but the major challenge is to obtain optimum therapeutic levels of curcumin due to its low solubility and poor
bioavailability. Improved absorption and cellular uptake of curcumin can be achieved through alteration in formulation
properties and novel approaches in delivery systems. This review presents an overview of the background of curcumin,
pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical evidence in chemoprevention of bowel diseases and recent approaches to deliver
curcumin for improved cellular uptake and bioavailability.
Keywords: Approaches, curcumin, clinical studies, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, turmeric.
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