Properties, extraction methods, and delivery systems for curcumin as a natural source of beneficial health effects

Aleksandra Zielińska, Henrique Alves, Vânia Marques, Alessandra Durazzo, Massimo Lucarini, Thais F. Alves, Margreet Morsink, Niels Willemen, Piotr Eder, Marco V. Chaud, Patricia Severino, Antonello Santini*, Eliana B. Souto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


This review discusses the impact of curcumin—an aromatic phytoextract from the turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizome—as an effective therapeutic agent. Despite all of the beneficial health properties ensured by curcumin application, its pharmacological efficacy is compromised in vivo due to poor aqueous solubility, high metabolism, and rapid excretion that may result in poor systemic bioavailability. To overcome these problems, novel nanosystems have been proposed to enhance its bioavailability and bioactivity by reducing the particle size, the modification of surfaces, and the encapsulation efficiency of curcumin with different nanocarriers. The solutions based on nanotechnology can improve the perspective for medical patients with serious illnesses. In this review, we discuss commonly used curcumin-loaded bio-based nanoparticles that should be implemented for overcoming the innate constraints of this natural ingredient. Furthermore, the associated challenges regarding the potential applications in combination therapies are discussed as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number336
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Cancer
  • Curcumin
  • Health properties
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanopharmaceutics


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