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Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jan;85:102-112. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.11.098. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Phytosomal curcumin: A review of pharmacokinetic, experimental and clinical studies.

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Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Anatomical Sciences and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.
Biotechnology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Electronic address:


Curcumin, a hydrophobic polyphenol, is the principal constituent extracted from dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa L. (turmeric). Curcumin is known as a strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that has different pharmacological effects. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that curcumin is safe even at dosages as high as 8g per day; however, instability at physiological pH, low solubility in water and rapid metabolism results in a low oral bioavailability of curcumin. The phytosomal formulation of curcumin (a complex of curcumin with phosphatidylcholine) has been shown to improve curcumin bioavailability. Existence of phospholipids in phytosomes leads to specific physicochemical properties such as amphiphilic nature that allows dispersion in both hydrophilic and lipophilic media. The efficacy and safety of curcumin phytosomes have been shown against several human diseases including cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetic microangiopathy and retinopathy, and inflammatory diseases. This review focuses on the pharmacokinetics as well as pharmacological and clinical effects of phytosomal curcumin.


Bioavailability; Curcumin; Phospholipid; Phytosome

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