Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is a bioactive and major phenolic component of turmeric derived from the rhizomes of curcuma longa linn. For centuries, curcumin has exhibited excellent therapeutic benefits in various diseases. Owing to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin plays a significant beneficial and pleiotropic regulatory role in various pathological conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, inflammatory disorders, neurological disorders, and so on. Despite such phenomenal advances in medicinal applications, the clinical implication of native curcumin is hindered due to low solubility, physico-chemical instability, poor bioavailability, rapid metabolism, and poor pharmacokinetics. However, these issues can be overcome by utilizing an efficient delivery system. Active scientific research was initiated in 2005 to improve curcumin's pharmacokinetics, systemic bioavailability, and biological activity by encapsulating or by loading curcumin into nanoform(s) (nanoformulations). A significant number of nanoformulations exist that can be translated toward medicinal use upon successful completion of pre-clinical and human clinical trials. Considering this perspective, current review provides an overview of an efficient curcumin nanoformulation for a targeted therapeutic option for various human diseases. In this review article, we discuss the clinical evidence, current status, and future opportunities of curcumin nanoformulation(s) in the field of medicine. In addition, this review presents a concise summary of the actions required to develop curcumin nanoformulations as pharmaceutical or nutraceutical candidates.
Keywords: cancer; curcumin; drug delivery; nanoparticles; nanotechnology.