No curry? No worry! Intravenous Curcumin: Background and Therapeutic Uses

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No curry? No worry! Intravenous Curcumin: Background and Therapeutic Uses

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Curcumin, a naturally-occurring phytonutrient found in turmeric, has been one of the most highly-researched natural medicines to date. An age-old Aryuvedic medicine used for a variety of conditions (owing to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties), curcumin has created a buzz in the scientific community. Since then, hundreds of pharmacological studies and clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the use of curcumin as modern medicine. It has proven to have many clinical applications and uses in cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, metabolic, inflammatory, autoimmune and malignant diseases.

Curcumin has shown diverse effects throughout the body and in many different cell signalling pathways. There has been documented activity against inflammation as well as cancer cell proliferation, division, and invasion.

One of the limitations in using curcumin as medicine is it has poor bioavailability when taken orally. In other words, you need to swallow a lot of curcumin to cause a significant and/or sustained increase in your blood level of curcumin. Product researchers and developers have tried to overcome this barrier by utilizing various preparations, particle sizes, and ‘packaging’ methods – and there continues to be significant investment in this area.

The bioavailability of curcumin can also be improved by utilizing intravenous delivery. IV curcumin is effective at significantly raising blood levels with relatively few safety concerns or side effects noted at high doses. For this reason it can be a useful tool in the integrative treatment of autoimmune disease, inflammatory disease and many types of cancers.

~ Dr. Tim

Prasad S, et al. Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice. Cancer Research and Treatment : Official Journal of Korean Cancer Association. 2014;46(1):2-18.

Storka A, et al. Safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of liposomal curcumin in healthy humans. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Jan;53(1):54-65.

Sunagawa Y1, et al. Colloidal Submicron-Particle Curcumin Exhibits High Absorption Efficiency-A Double-Blind, 3-Way Crossover Study. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2015;61(1):37-44.

Wilken R et al. Curcumin: A review of anti-cancer properties and therapeutic activity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Mol Cancer. 2011 Feb 7;10:12.

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