Dietary Curcumin: Correlation between Bioavailability and Health Potential

Nutrients. 2019 Sep 8;11(9):2147. doi: 10.3390/nu11092147.


The yellow pigment curcumin, extracted from turmeric, is a renowned polyphenol with a broad spectrum of health properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-allergic, anti-dermatophyte, and neuroprotective. However, these properties are followed by a poor pharmacokinetic profile which compromises its therapeutic potential. The association of low absorption by the small intestine and the extensive reductive and conjugative metabolism in the liver dramatically weakens the oral bioavailability. Several strategies such as inhibition of curcumin metabolism with adjuvants as well as novel solid and liquid oral delivery systems have been tried to counteract curcumin poor absorption and rapid elimination from the body. Some of these drug deliveries can successfully enhance the solubility, extending the residence in plasma, improving the pharmacokinetic profile and the cellular uptake.

Keywords: bioavailability; curcumin; nutraceutical; nutrient; pharmacokinetic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Availability
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Solubility


  • Curcumin