Strategies for Enhancement of Bioavailability and Bioactivity of Curcumin
Pp. 104-147 (44)
D. Nedra Karunaratne, Geethi K. Pamunuwa, Irosha H. V. Nicholas and Isuru R. Ariyarathna
Curcumin is the main component in turmeric. It has been used as a food and
as a medicinal agent in the Indo-Asian region from time immemorial. Curcumin has
been reported to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and
anti-viral bioactivities. It has been widely researched and clinical studies have been
conducted to establish the potency of curcumin as a useful therapeutic and
nutraceutical. One of the main drawbacks in assessing its biological activity is the
insolubility of curcumin which results in its poor bioavailability. Many attempts have
been made to improve the bioavailability of curcumin to increase its potency.
Encapsulation is a technique that allows increased solubility of lipophilic substances
like curcumin. Encapsulation produces microparticles and nanoparticles, of which
improved potency of encapsulants has been observed to a greater extent at the nano
level. Several encapsulants have been used for this purpose, and are described herein.
Among the many methods used to enhance the bioactivity of curcumin are
incorporation in o/w nanoemulsions and liposomes. Formation of cocrystals, and other
biological and chemical methods, including modification and conjugation for
improving bioactivity, are also reviewed.
Anticancer, Anti-Inflammatory, Bioavailability, Bioactivity,
Curcumin, Cocrystals, Emulsion, Encapsulation, Liposome, Potency, Polymer
Department of Chemistry, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.