Curcumin with Plant Extracts

Curcumin, the chemical compound found within the Indian spice turmeric, has been receiving popular press recently due to its health-promoting properties.

The trouble is that curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body when it’s consumed by itself. But research from Indena, the world leading company in identifying, developing and producing active plant derivatives has found that when the curcumin extract is added to a plant extract phytosome known as a phosphatidylcholine (PC), it is more readily absorbed by the body.

PC is one of the essential components found in human cells and this is why when curcumin is added to a phytosome, it can reach the cells that need it the most. Indena have developed a patented formulation known as Meriva, which consists of curcumin, a dietary phenolic and soy lechitin (non-GMO) for superior absorption.

Improvements in Curcumin’s Bioavailability

A study released in the Cancer, Chemotherapy and Pharmacology journal in 2007 documented the superior bioavailability of Meriva compared to normal curcumin and found it lead to a marked increase in its absorption.

The study demonstrated in Male Wistar rats involved a high oral load of curcumin (340mg/Kg) and 1.8g/Kg of Meriva®. The presence of the curcumin and the metabolites were evaluated at 15, 30, 60 and 120 minutes after being administered into the plasma, liver and intestinal mucosa. 99% of the curcumin was present in the plasma as glucuronides, the remaining 1% was curcumin sulphate and free curcumin.

Results indicated that:

Complexation with phospholipids led to a marked increase in the concentration of all the plasma curcuminoids (over 23 fold in the case of glucuronides, ca 5-fold in the case of free curcumin, and ca 1.5-fold in the case of sulphates). Since glucuronides are by far the prevailing plasma curcuminoids, the overall bioavailability of curcumin, as expressed in plasma curcuminoids and calculated from AUC values, was improved by over 23-fold when this compound was administered as Meriva®” (1)

The results confirmed that levels of curcumin were higher with Meriva supplementation as opposed to ordinary curcumin.

A human study published by The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy also confirmed that curcumin’s bioavailability was 29x greater with the Meriva supplementation and in both studies, the plasma concentrations of curcumin were found to be higher than ordinary curcumin. (2)

Meriva is also thought to have other health benefits that include promoting and supporting a healthy inflammatory response according to an eight month human trial that was carried out recently. Individual health is also thought to have improved when it came to the clinical and biochemical end-points associated with joint health.(3)



  1. Marczylo TH, Verschoyle RD, Cooke DN, Morazzoni P, Steward WP, Gescher AJ., Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2007 Jul;60(2):171-7. Epub 2006 Oct 19.
  2. Cuomo, J., et al., J Nat Prod, 2011.
  3. Belcaro G., Cesarone M. R., Dugall M. et al. Panminerva Medica 2010 Giugno;52(2 Suppl 1).55-62.

About Health Writer - Anna Jones

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