Curcumin extract’s superior bioavailability unlocks more health benefits, study concludes

By Nicola Gordon-Seymour

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Curcumin curcuminoids Curcugen DolCas Biotech

Curcugen curcumin extract significantly enhances the bioavailability of free curcumins making their therapeutic benefits more accessible, according to research

A report published in Medicine​ asserts that Curcugen extract, developed by DolCas Biotech, delivers 31-fold higher quantities of tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) and double the amount of bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) (on a weight-to-weight basis) in blood plasma compared to a standard comparable product (C-95), which contribute to notably enhanced bioactivity.

Research into the potential benefits of Curcugen on free curcumin bioavailability discovered the extract is 39-times more bioavailable than C-95 by free curcumin analysis and 49.5-times by total curcumin analysis.

Curcuminoids in turmeric (like curcumin) comprise individual compounds, such as BDMC and THC. These have a variety of therapeutic properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, immune stimulatory, cognitive enhancement, and anti-cancer activity, but have low bioavailability in humans which reduces potential benefits.

Formulations combining turmeric with other compounds, such as piperine (found to increase bioavailability in humans by 2000%), emulsions, essential oil complexes, whey protein and liposomes, are known to enhance bioavailability.

The authors of the report note that “even high doses of pure or nearly pure actives cannot wholly counter the need for formulation as a way to overcome bioavailability constraints​”.

Research structure

The study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic claims of Curcugen. The extract is a patent-pending curcuminoid formulation designed to facilitate maximum levels of curcuminoid absorption. Its composition is 98.5% derived from turmeric (including 1.5% of essential oils and polysaccharides) and 50% concentrated curcuminoids.

The double-blind, randomised, single dose, two-treatment comparative bioavailability study involved 17 healthy male participants (aged 18 to 45 years) and two treatments with 10 days separation. They had physical and medical examinations and were screened for alcohol and drug abuse.

Trials took place at the team’s clinical pharmacology unit to assure sample collection 24-hours post dose. A turmeric-free dinner was provided the evening before the first dose, followed by a minimum 10-hour overnight fasting period. Turmeric-free meals and snacks were provided to both the Curcugen and C-95 reference groups at four, eight and 13-hour intervals post dose throughout the testing period.

A single dose of either treatment was given to participants. Group 1 were given Curcugen containing approximately 2 g of total curcuminoids and group 2 C-95 with the same amount of total curcuminoids.

The equivalent curcuminoid doses were delivered to both groups in eight, two-part hard gelatine capsules. A total of 16 blood samples were collected to quantify levels of free curcumin, total curcumin, and total demethoxycurcumin (DMC), BDMC and THC curcuminoid compounds.


Findings demonstrate a statistically significant difference between treatment with Curcugen versus the 95% standardized curcuminoids extract (C-95) at 5% level of significance based on the statistical results for maximum concentration (Cmax  ​) and area under the plasma concentration (AUC) of free curcumin.

The data analysis supports the “primary efficacy measure​” that a single oral dose of Curcugen can significantly increase bioavailability when compared against the standard curcumin reference product (C-95) and when administered under fasting conditions.

The report explains the self-dispersion (SELF-D) technology used in the production of the turmeric extract formula facilitates the co-extraction of curcuminoids, essential oils and polar-type resins from the turmeric oleoresin, among other turmeric natives. “These additive, non-redundant effects have established ​Curcugen® as a highly bioavailable ingredient with a highly concentrated turmeric base.”

Source: Medicine

Published online: doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000026601

The enhanced bioavailability of free curcumin and bioactive-metabolite tetrahydrocurcumin from a dispersible, oleoresin-based turmeric formulation

Authors: Panda, Sanjib Kumar M. Pharm, Nirvanashetty, Somashekara PhD, Missamma, M. MD, DNB, Jackson-Michel, Shavon ND

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