From Joseph Mercola, DO
Interest in curcumin is growing as the discovery of new delivery systems increases the bioavailability of the compound. Curcumin is the major biologically active polyphenolic compound of turmeric. Turmeric has long been used in Indian cuisine and medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric its yellow color.
Studies have suggested that curcumin is a powerful ally in the treatment of several conditions, such as mood disorders and pain control. Importantly, curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has potent neuroprotective properties, which suggests it could be useful for neurodegenerative disorders. The cosmetic and fabric industry also uses turmeric and curcumin.
In its raw form, curcumin has a very poor absorption rate. Generally, just 1% of the product is absorbed by your body. Researchers have investigated a variety of different methods to improve absorption. This has included formulations to optimize bioavailability and delivery methods
Those that appeared to improve the absorption include delivery as a nanoparticle, combination with polylactic-co-glycolic acid, liposomal encapsulation, and taken orally with piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper.