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Curcumin: Pharmaceutical Solids as a Platform to Improve Solubility and Bioavailability


Curcumin (CUR) is the prime curcuminoid of the Indian dietary spice turmeric, Curcuma longa, a plant of the Zingiberaceae family. CUR has promising and diverse therapeutic benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-malarial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral activity, including anti-Alzheimer's disease. CUR is yet to reach the status of a therapeutic drug candidate mainly because a standard solid dosage of curcumin suffers from poor oral bioavailability (0.05 μg/mL, less than 1%). The factors attributed for low bioavailability include poor solubility (<8 μg/mL in water), low permeability and absorption, and rapid metabolism (short elimination half-life <2 h). A successful CUR therapy requires an appropriate formulation system which will enhance bioavailability and offer greater therapeutic efficacy. This review covers a comprehensive description of CUR pharmaceutical solids such as polymorphs, cocrystals, eutectics and coamorphous solid-state forms to improve its physicochemical properties including dissolution rate, solubility, physicochemical stability, mechanical strength, compressibility for tablet formation, and oral bioavailability. The cumulative publications in the past decade forecast a bright future for an oral drug formulation of curcumin.

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Mar 2018, accepted on 14 May 2018 and first published on 14 May 2018

Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/C8CE00469B
Citation: CrystEngComm, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Curcumin: Pharmaceutical Solids as a Platform to Improve Solubility and Bioavailability

    A. Nangia and S. Kuthuru, CrystEngComm, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8CE00469B

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