Curcumin is one of the principle bioactive compounds used in the ayurvedic medicine system that has the history of over 5000 years for human use. Curcumin an “Indian Gold” is used to treat simple ailments like the common cold to severe life threatening diseases like cancer, and HIV.
Though its contribution is immense for the health protection and disease prevention, its clinical use is limited due to its susceptible nature to alkaline pH, high temperature, presence of oxygen and light. Hence it becomes extremely difficult to maintain its bioactivity during processing, storage and consumption.
Recent advancements in the application of nanotechnology to curcumin offer an opportunity to enhance its stability, bioactivity and to overcome its pharmacokinetic mismatch. This in turn helps to bridge the gaps that exist between its bench top research data to its clinical findings.
Among the various types of nano/micro delivery systems, lipid based delivery systems are well studied and are the best suited delivery systems to enhance the stability and pharmacokinetic profile of curcumin both for pharma and the food application.
In the current review, effort will be made to recapitulate the work done in the past to use lipid based delivery systems (liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles, and emulsions) to enhance the application of curcumin for health promotion and disease prevention. Further, future prospects for the utilization of these lipid-based delivery systems will be discussed in detail.