Curcumin Nanoemulsion Shows Promise in Modulating Gut Bacteria

A recent study by Brazilian researchers has found that a nanoemulsion containing particles of curcumin, a substance known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, was able to modulate the gut microbiota of mice with intestinal inflammation. The study, supported by FAPESP and published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, highlights the potential of curcumin nanoemulsions in preventing and treating inflammatory bowel disease.

Curcumin, a yellow polyphenolic pigment found in the turmeric plant, has gained attention for its potential in treating inflammatory intestinal disorders. However, its low bioavailability when administered orally has been a challenge, particularly in patients with conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

To address this issue, the scientists developed a nanoemulsion containing nanometric particles of curcumin. They first evaluated the emulsion’s stability, morphology, and physicochemical properties. Then, they tested its effects on mice with induced intestinal inflammation, administering the nanoemulsion orally for 14 days.

The results showed that the nanoemulsion effectively improved the bioavailability of curcumin and modulated the gut microbiota of the mice after the drug-induced damage. The relative abundance of beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria was about 25% higher in the mice treated with curcumin nanoemulsion compared to the control group.

Although the nanoemulsion did not significantly improve intestinal inflammation, the study’s authors emphasized the importance of developing novel formulations that enhance the efficacy of curcumin in preventing and treating inflammatory bowel disease. They noted that curcumin has proven to be a valid alternative to existing treatments, which are often expensive and have significant side effects.

The research group continues to explore the potential of nanoformulations in delivering nutraceuticals and plans to adjust the curcumin nanoemulsion formulation to increase its bioavailability further. They aim to apply the improved formulation in future protocols for the prevention and treatment of intestinal damage.


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