Improving the oral bioavailability of curcumin using novel organogel-based nanoemulsions

Hailong Yu, Qingrong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Curcumin is a natural bioactive compound with many health-promoting benefits. Its low oral bioavailability limits its application in functional foods. In the present study, novel organogel-based nanoemulsions have been developed for oral delivery of curcumin and improvement of its bioavailability. Recently developed curcumin organogel was used as the oil phase in the curcumin nanoemulsion formulation. Tween 20 was selected as the emulsifier on the basis of maximum in vitro bioaccessibility of curcumin in the nanoemulsion. In vitro lipolysis profile revealed that the digestion of nanoemulsion was significantly faster and more complete than the organogel. Permeation experiments on Caco-2 cell monolayers suggested that digestion-diffusion was the major absorption mechanism for curcumin in the nanoemulsion. Furthermore, in vivo pharmacokinetics analysis on mice confirmed that the oral bioavailability of curcumin in the nanoemulsion was increased by 9-fold compared with unformulated curcumin. This novel formulation approach may also be used for oral delivery of other poorly soluble nutraceuticals with high loading capacity, which has significant impact in functional foods, dietary supplements and pharmaceutical industries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5373-5379
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 30 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • bioavailability
  • curcumin
  • lipolysis
  • nanoemulsion
  • organogel

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