Research: Healing Capacity of Curcumin (Turmeric) Significantly Improved Through Nanotechnology

turmeric-rootBy Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

With all the exceptional benefits of turmeric, health-savvy individuals have embraced the spice as a powerful tonic for a wide variety of complaints. Taming chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, liver disease and even neurological disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s, this golden root is an absolute superstar among medicinal herbs. Over and above that, turmeric also exhibits significant antibacterial, antiviral and antitumor properties. And now, researchers have discovered an even more potent form in the way of nanoparticles.

Increased bioavailability

Although fresh and powdered turmeric shine in therapeutic applications, isolating the bioactive element curcumin has proven to offer still more benefit. But researchers have further increased the health impact of the root by rendering curcumin into exceedingly small nanoparticles. Two of the main disadvantages of standard curcumin are its low aqueous solubility and poor uptake. However, both issues are solved through nanonization. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered:

Unlike curcumin, nanocurcumin was found to be freely dispersible in water in the absence of any surfactants. The chemical structure of nanocurcumin was the same as that of curcumin, and there was no modification during nanoparticle preparation. A minimum inhibitory concentration of nanocurcumin was determined for a variety of bacterial and fungal strains and was compared to that of curcumin. It was found that the aqueous dispersion of nanocurcumin was much more effective than curcumin against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Penicillium notatum, and Aspergillus niger.

Based on transmission electron micrograph (TEM) analysis, the researchers realized that the antibacterial properties were due to the fact that curcumin nanoparticles were able to break apart bacterial cell walls, thereby leading to cell death. Additionally, research published in Current Pharmaceutical Design observed that nanopreparations of curcumin were an efficient delivery system for anticancer therapies. Likewise, the International Journal of Nanomedicine reports that silk-fibroin-derived curcumin nanoparticles have the potential to treat breast tumors in vivo as a localized, long-term and nontoxic protocol.

The oral bioavailability of nanocurcumin is notably more effective than curcumin in hindering cataracts in lab animal tests as well. Mice were given 2 mg/day nanocurcumin, which slowed down the effects of protein insolubilization, protein glycation, crystallin distribution and oxidative stress associated with diabetic-induced cataracts.

Moreover, curcumin nanoparticles may offer a novel approach for treating asthma. Dr. Edward F. Group III, founder of the Global Healing Center, stated:

One study involving rats and asthma found that dosing with curcumin nanoparticles increased concentrations of curcumin in the lung and liver. In the animal model, the nano-particles effectively suppressed airway hyperresponsiveness and irritation, leading to conclusions that curcumin nano particles could eventually be a promising candidate for asthma therapy.

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About the author:

Carolanne Wright

I’m Carolanne — a writer, chef, traveler and enthusiastic advocate for sustainability, organics and joyful living. It’s good to have you here. If you would like to learn more, connect with me at or visit

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