This review discusses the impact of curcumin-an aromatic phytoextract from the turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizome-as an effective therapeutic agent. Despite all of the beneficial health properties ensured by curcumin application, its pharmacological efficacy is compromised in vivo due to poor aqueous solubility, high metabolism, and rapid excretion that may result in poor systemic bioavailability. To overcome these problems, novel nanosystems have been proposed to enhance its bioavailability and bioactivity by reducing the particle size, the modification of surfaces, and the encapsulation efficiency of curcumin with different nanocarriers. The solutions based on nanotechnology can improve the perspective for medical patients with serious illnesses. In this review, we discuss commonly used curcumin-loaded bio-based nanoparticles that should be implemented for overcoming the innate constraints of this natural ingredient. Furthermore, the associated challenges regarding the potential applications in combination therapies are discussed as well.
Keywords: cancer; curcumin; health properties; nanoparticles; nanopharmaceutics.