Bioavailability and Metabolism of Curcuminoids

  • Wolfgang W. Quitschke


Curcuminoids are biologically active polyphenols present in the spice and coloring agent turmeric. Dietary intake of curcuminoids has been associated a wide range of medicinal properties, including possible beneficial effects in the prevention of many forms of cancer. Studies carried out in vitro on cultured cells show that curcuminoids reduce the rate of cell division and induce apoptosis by affecting signal transduction pathways. However, there is a discrepancy between the curcuminoid dosage required for these in vitro effects and the most optimistic estimates on curcuminoid bioavailability following oral uptake. Therefore, the mechanism by which curcuminoids exert their biological effects through dietary intake remains incompletely understood. Curcuminoid bioavailability is dependent on several factors. These include solubility, chemical stability, efficiency of digestive uptake, metabolic processing, and excretion. This review attempts to illuminate the current state of knowledge on the effect of these factors on curcuminoid bioavailability. In addition, efforts to augment curcuminoid bioavailability through chemical modifications, improved solubilization, increased stability, or alternative routes of administration are addressed.


Oral Uptake Heptanoic Acid Free Curcumin Curcumin Concentration Chronic Oral Administration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ScienceState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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