WASHINGTON—The American Chemical Society reports that scientists developed a nano-size capsule that boosts the body’s uptake of curcumin, an ingredient in yellow curry now being evaluated in clinical trials for treatment of several diseases.
The study, published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, notes that curcumin is a potent antioxidant found in turmeric. Clinical trials are checking its safety and effectiveness for treatment for colon cancer, psoriasis and Alzheimer’s Disease. However, digestive juice in the gastrointestinal tract quickly destroys curcumin, so that little actually gets into the blood.
Scientists have known for years that encapsulating insulin and certain other drugs into structures called liposomes can boost absorption. The scientists prepared the liposomes, encapsulating curcumin, and fed them to laboratory rats. Encapsulating more than quadrupled absorption of curcumin, and also boosted antioxidant levels in the blood. The encapsulating process could be an answer to the problem of increasing curcumin’s absorption in the digestive environment of the gastrointestinal tract, they suggest.