Incorporation of curcumin into micelles markedly enhances its anti-inflammatory activity, particularly in combination with other extracts

[Speaker] Mohamed T. Khayyal:1
[Co-author] Mona Abdel-Tawab:2, Dariush Behnam:3, Walaa El-Sabbagh:4, Rania M. El-Hazek:4
1:Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Egypt, 2:Zentrallaboratorium Deutscher Apotheker, Eschborn, Germany, 3:AQUANOVA AG, Darmstadt, Germany, 4:National Centre for Radiation Technology, Cairo, Egypt

Native extracts of Curcumin are known to exert anti-inflammatory properties, but have poor bioavailability when given orally. Through advanced micellation technology, it has been possible to produce stable solubilisates of these extracts, thereby markedly enhancing their bioavailability and consequently reducing the orally administered dose and reducing their potential adverse effects. The chronic anti-inflammatory activity of micellar curcumin has been studied in the adjuvant arthritis rat model when given alone or in combination with extracts of boswellia or xanthohumol after daily oral administration for three weeks. Diclofenac was used as reference drug. The combination of micellar formulations of curcumin and boswellia extracts showed a better anti-inflammatory effect than either one alone. The reduction in paw volume was reflected in corresponding changes in relevant parameters for mediators of inflammation: TNF-alpha, IL-6. The findings confirm that the micellar formulations of curcumin and boswellia extracts allow the use of much lower doses than required in the native form to achieve a potent anti-inflammatory effect. Much better results were obtained with the combination of micellar xanthohumol and curcumin than with boswellia and curcumin, both of which revealed an even more potent anti-inflammatory activity than that of diclofenac. The study could open an important new clinical application for the use of curcumin as an anti-inflammatory drug.
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