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Dr. Chakrapany Sharma*, Dr. Ravindra Kumar, Dr. Ashutosh Sharma, Dr. Dharmendra Sharma and Dr. T. Madhuri


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is well known Ayurvedic herb has been practicing for the treatment of various ailment i,e, - Fever, Inflammation, Sore throat, fresh wound healing, and it is observed that most of time the turmeric is used in Ayurveda along with milk or cow butter. The myriad benefits of turmeric have been widely studied and proven. The problem with turmeric supplementation is that the active components, curcuminoids, are very poorly absorbed. A pure turmeric extract will not reach the blood supply in any meaningful or therapeutic level. Its effects, while still quite powerful, will be limited to the intestines. It is so poorly absorbed in fact that in one study even at a dose of 2g/kg, blood levels of curcuminoids were barely detectable, if at all.[1] For a 150 pound person that means eating almost a third of a pound of turmeric will still not result in significant systemic distribution. In response, the supplement industry has spent millions of dollars to bioengineer products with improved assimilation. Thousands of years ago in India, Ayurveda developed techniques that greatly enhanced the absorption of haldi as it is called. There are two widely accepted methods to increase turmeric absorption; take it with some kind of fat, or with black pepper, or more specifically piperine. Most available preparations for turmeric that boast increased assimilation are based on these methods. Curcuminoids are lipophilic substances. This means that they will not dissolve in water which makes them poorly absorbed by our intestines. However, they do dissolve in fats which are themselves readily absorbed by the intestinal lining for absorption and utilization. Turmeric is just along for the ride. Hence the use of phospholipid phytosomes and other creative approaches using fatty substances for increasing absorption in many modern turmeric preparations. Piper nigrum, or black pepper, contains the alkaloid piperine, which gives pepper its distinct spicy flavor. This compound inhibits glucuronidation. Glucuronic acid is added to molecules by the body to make them more water soluble which allows the kidneys to remove them from the body. This process is very prevalent in both the intestinal lining and the liver in order to protect the body from possibly toxic molecules that are ingested. Piperine inhibits glucuronidation in both the intestines and the liver. This allows high levels of curcuminoids to enter the blood flow in their active form. In fact, adding piperine to a turmeric supplement can increase absorption by 2000%. That is a mind boggling number! Where did the scientists have come up with the crazy idea. It happen due to observing the traditional ways turmeric was consumed in Indian culture! Keeping these views in mind the recent developments in Drug Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin was studied literary and presented for further needful.

Keywords: Curcumin, Curcuma longa, Piper nigrum, Haridra, Glucuronidation,

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