The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: January 27, 2007
Nanotechnology enhances the therapeutic effect of tumeric
(Nanowerk News) The Chemistry Department at Delhi University has developed a nano-particular vehicle for helping turmeric get absorbed in the body.
“The nano-particular vehicle for turmeric which is being developed by experts at Delhi University, is under testing in different in-vitro culture and animal modules and will finally be used for human trials,” said Dr AK Dinda, of the Department of Pathology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Turmeric has a therapeutic effect. The medicinal properties of turmeric, a spice commonly used in curries and other South Asian cuisine, have for millennia been known to the ancient Indians and have been expounded in the Ayurvedic texts. It is only in recent years that Western scientists have increasingly recognised the medicinal properties of turmeric. According to a 2005 article in the Wall Street Journal titled, "Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope," research activity into curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is exploding.
Curcuma longa (tumeric)
However, doctors say the main problem with turmeric is that it has poor solubility and results in a lower bioavailability (the difference between the amount of the substance to which a person is exposed and the actual dose of the substance that the body receives).
Therefore to enhance the therapeutic effect of turmeric they are working to design the polymer in such a way that turmeric gets dissolved.
“Turmeric has poor solubility and we have to break this barrier. Turmeric, if mixed with milk, becomes soluble. The polymer is to be developed in such a way to increase its bioavailability,” Dr Dinda said.
The nano-particular drug delivery system can be injected intravenously and can be administered orally as well. “About 5-10 gm of nano-form is enough. It can be used intravenously and can be formed into a capsule. Even one dose can stay for a week,” the doctor said.
In future, the therapy can be used for curing various diseases. It prevents proliferation of cancer cells, connective tissue diseases and can provide relief from chronic arthritis and various inflammatory diseases, Dr Dinda said.