Nano Curcumin

Nano curcumin:

Nano curcumin is a Nano range formulation of curcumin; an intensified bioavailable curcumin grade. This grade of Curcumin increases all the biological and Pharmacological benefits of curcumin. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), is the bioactive compound present in Turmeric (Curcuma longa). It is one of the three curcuminoids present in the rhizome of C .longa. The other two curcuminoids are demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin.

Ayurveda an ancient holistic system of medicine demonstrates many benefits of curcumin as a wonder spice, as a dietary supplement, as a topical application for beautification, and as therapeutics for multiple chronic diseases. Research data of recent three decades provide evidence to support curcumin’s beneficial effects on different human diseases.

Botanical Source:  

Rhizomes of Curcuma longa        

Family name: 


Curcumin (chemical structure):

Chemical formula: C21H20O6

Molecular weight: 368.83

IUPAC ID : (1E, 6E)-1, 7-bis (4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1, 6-heptadiene-3, 5-Dione

Which part of the plant gives curcumin? 

Curcumin is a small molecular weight, polyphenolic compound, and an important bioactive ingredient isolated from the rhizomes of C. longa (turmeric).

Availability worldwide: 

There are more than 100 species of Curcuma. The few common species are Curcuma longa (syn. Curcuma domestica), Curcuma aromatica, and Curcuma xanthorrhiza. Curcuma longa is widely used as a therapeutic; it is grown in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, extensively cultivated in Asian countries, viz., India, Burma, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Uses of curcumin:

Curcumin the yellow bioactive component of turmeric (Curcuma longa) has shown a wide spectrum of biological actions and exhibits potent therapeutic effect on various organs systems of humans. This includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory /Antirheumatic
  • Improving lipid profile
  • Anti-amyloid Effect
  • Anti-cancerous Effect
  • Anti-oxidant Effect
  • Anti-microbial Effect
  • Anti-fibrosis Effect
  • Immune modulator for organ transplant
  • Other Biological Effects like improved digestion prevent diabetes and depression.

The challenges with Curcumin and the need for Nano curcumin 

The biggest challenge with curcumin is its poor bioavailability (the pace at which the body processes a substance). If taken in the native form its efficiency reduces primarily due to its poor absorption in the blood, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination.

Formulations are developed comprising of curcumin being embedded into polymeric nanoparticles or trapped into liposomes, phospholipid complexes, Nanoemulsions, or polymeric micelles which have been referred to as ‘Nano curcumin’. This grade of Curcumin increases all the biological and Pharmacological benefits of curcumin.

How integrating curcumin into nanocarriers can be beneficial?

Many types of Nanoparticles have been tried by scientists to get a more therapeutically potent grade of curcumin. Nanotechnology is the advanced drug delivery system in which the active component is encapsulated in molecules like liposomes, polymers, conjugates, solid lipid nanoparticles, micelles, cyclodextrins, nano gels, nanospheres, gold, and magnetic nanoparticles or Nanoemulsions, this kind of encapsulation of curcumin helps in following ways:

  • Improves the solubility of curcumin in water.
  • Improves the bioavailability of curcumin.
  • Increases the cellular permeability of curcumin.
  • Delivers the therapeutic concentration of curcumin to the target organ.
  • Protects the curcumin from enzymatic degradation.
  • Controlled release of curcumin in blood circulation.
  • Decreasing the chances of toxicity caused by the higher dose of curcumin.
  • Changes the pharmacokinetics of curcumin.

Few common techniques to synthesize nano curcumin are nanoprecipitation, microemulsion, spray drying, antisolvent precipitation, ultrasonication, coavervation technique, ionic gelation, solid dispersion, wet milling, thin-film hydration, and fessi method.

The criteria to confirm the effectiveness of nano formulation:

The effectiveness of nano curcumin depends on its physicochemical properties like particle size, surface area, surface charge, and hydrophobicity. These properties define the nano curcumin stability, toxicity, targeting ability, absorption ability, effect, dosage, and way of administration.

Therapeutic benefits of nano curcumin:

Nowadays cancer therapy is a major concern for the scientific community. Cancer is usually treated by chemotherapy which has severe side effects on the body of the patient. Therefore, scientists are working hard to find a therapy that is natural and has low side effects, Curcumin therapeutic abilities are already well studied and established, the only limitation in using curcumin is its low solubility, low bioavailability, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination from the body. These limitations were ruled over by nano curcumin. The larger surface area of the nanoparticle increases its absorption, smaller particle size makes it efficient in entering the cell and target well, less dose requirement reduces the chance of toxicity. This way full potential of curcumin can be utilized in treating any disease. Many research and trials on different types of cancers have proven that nano curcumin has more efficacy and stability in comparison to curcumin. Nano curcumin is considered a potential drug candidate for colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, esophageal adenocarcinomas, and central nervous system cancer, and other diseases where the targeted approach on affected tissue is required.

Citing few clinical trials which give evidence of nano curcumin therapeutic activity and its advantage over native curcumin 

Nano Curcumin has been studied extensively, to prove its therapeutic value. There are many in-vitro, in vivo, and clinical trials reported by researchers throughout the globe to establish nano curcumin’s biological effects, its effectiveness on the central nervous system, malignant diseases, etc.

Nano curcumin as natural anticancer drug:

Suman et al demonstrated that the nano curcumin of 40 -80 nm shows significant anti-angiogenic, anti-cancerous and anti-metastatic effects indicate nearly 33% reduction of tumor in treated group of animals and interestingly there were no morphological effects like hair loss. The result shows that nano curcumin has the potential to be used as a natural anticancer drug.

Curcumin nanoparticles with highly potent antimicrobial properties:

Bhavana et. al reported nano curcumin more effective than curcumin against staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Penicillium notatum and Aspergillus niger . The result demonstrated that due to a reduction in the particle size in the nano form of curcumin, the water solubility and antimicrobial activity have increased remarkably. The smaller particle size helped the curcumin molecule to enter the bacterial cell by completely breaking the cell wall, leading to bacterial cell death.

Nano Curcumin efficiency in colon cancer:

  1. Gou, in their research found that curcumin encapsulated into monomethoxy poly (ethylene glycol) )-poly(ε-caprolactone) (MPEG-PCL) micelles by single-step nanoprecipitation method, can inhibit the growth of subcutaneous c-26 colon carcinoma in vivo and induced a stronger anticancer effect than that of free curcumin. Nano curcumin inhibits carcinoma by inhibiting angiogenesis and directly killing cancer cells.

Curcumin nanoparticles inhibit ovarian cancer cell growth:

Yallapu. M.M, et .al found in the study that curcumin induces chemo/radiosensitization in ovarian cancer cells, and curcumin nanoparticles of 70nm particle size conjugated with the monoclonal antibody are effective in inhibiting ovarian cancer cell growth. The steady and prolonged release of curcumin, antibody conjugation was found capable of treating ovarian cancer.

Nano curcumin is superior to native curcumin in preventing degenerative changes in Experimental Cerebral Malaria

Dende et al. reported nano curcumin is better bioavailability than native curcumin and obstructing degenerative changes in cerebral malaria studies. There have been threefolds of increase in the concentration of curcumin in the tissues of the brain when an oral dose of 5 mg PLGA-curcumin with 350 μg of curcumin was delivered than that accumulated with 5 mg of native curcumin.

A drawback of Nano curcumin: 

Though Nano curcumin is extremely effective and preferred for various therapies, there are concerns regarding the safety of nanoparticles, as the nanocarriers used to coat or carry the curcumin can be toxic to the body. Worldwide scientists are working on finding a better nano formulation that is not only safe but is also better in medication.


Nano curcumin in recent years has emerged out as the most promising therapeutic. It is successful in enhancing the curcumin’s bioavailability and stability. Different clinical studies establish other additional benefits of nano curcumin such as controlled release functions, improved cellular uptake, blood stability, better solubility, anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous activities.


NethikanaturalsUS Admin

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