Curcumin is the bioactive compound present in turmeric.
Turmeric is a well- known spice, highly popular for the flavour and colour it provides to food and its therapeutic properties.
But most of us do not know that it is the compound Curcumin, present in turmeric’s underground stem, which makes turmeric a very useful spice.
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent.
It has excellent wound healing properties and can be very effective against diseases and health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer etc. Curcumin is easily available, inexpensive and very safe with no side effects if consumed in appropriate quantities.
A major drawback of Curcumin is that it has poor bioavailability. It metabolizes very fast and is not soluble in water. This interferes with its activity, not allowing it to exhibit its best possible remedial effects.
Cancer is a fatal disease and is spreading at an alarming rate throughout the world.
It is the condition, in which the cells start dividing uncontrollably. A number of treatments are available like chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy etc.
However, they are highly toxic and produce serious side effects. Therefore, there is a need for the development of effective but non- toxic treatments to fight cancer.
Scientists have demonstrated that with the help of curcumin nanoparticles, this problem can be solved and diseases like cancer can be treated effectively.
These formulations can help in increasing the bioavailability of curcumin and its therapeutic activity.
It has been proven that cellulose nanoparticles filled with curcumin can relieve prostate cancer. Nanoparticles containing a lipid-polymer hybrid of curcumin and docetacel (a chemotherapeutic agent) are also effective in in-vitro and in-vivo tumour treatments.
When a group of scientists studied the effects of lipid nanoparticles for curcumin delivery on breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and mice suffering from breast cancer, they got positive results.
Cancer in colon cancer cells can be treated using PEGylated PLGA nanocapsules.
Several studies show that curcumin nanoparticles are better than free curcumin for treating cancer.
Curcumin loaded chitosan-gum Arabic nanocapsules work better than free curcumin against colorectal cancer.
A group of scientists has shown that lipopolysachharide nanocarriers for curcumin delivery are better than pure curcumin in terms of bioavailability, toxicity and efficacy in colorectal cancer treatment.
Curcumin is a powerful therapeutic agent.
A major problem with curcumin which does not allow it to produce its best possible therapeutic effects is that it has low bioavailability and is metabolized very fast.
Encapsulating curcumin with nanosized delivery systems is one possible way to overcome this problem.
A number of research studies have shown that curcumin nanoparticles are highly efficient and better than pure curcumin in treating cancers.
Reduction in their systemic toxicity and an increase in their loading capacity are the only improvements that are required to be worked upon.