Highly bioavailable curcumin reduces symptoms of the common cold: a clinical study of healthy Japanese adults
Common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a number of viruses, such as rhinovirus, adenovirus, coronavirus, enterovirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, and respiratory syncytial virus.
In mild cases, local symptoms are observed in the nose and throat, while in more severe cases, systemic symptoms with fever and muscle aches are observed. The term “common cold” is poorly defined both subjectively and objectively and is often used to refer to the manifestations of cold syndrome, such as sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis and otitis media.
According to research, cold syndrome is characterized by the occurrence of symptoms such as headache, sneezing, chills and sore throat, followed by nasal discharge, nasal congestion, cough and fatigue.
There are two routes that cause cold symptoms after a viral infection. Local symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and cough, are caused by the production of bradykinin and prostaglandins in the nasal epithelium.
In contrast, systemic symptoms, such as fever, myalgia, and headache, are caused by the release of cytokines by dendritic cells, neutrophils, and macrophages in response to activation of Toll-like receptors. Thus, modulation of these pathways is expected to reduce the symptoms of viral upper respiratory tract infections (also known as cold symptoms).
Among food components, polyphenols have been reported to have several immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, we believe that foods containing polyphenols are effective against the common cold.
Curcumin, a type of polyphenol, has long been used in traditional medicine to treat skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Some previous studies have shown that curcumin inhibits the production of bradykinin and prostaglandins through its anti-inflammatory effects.
In addition, other studies reported that curcumin suppressed the release of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and IL-8, and showed antiviral properties.
Therefore, curcumin may be effective in preventing local and systemic symptoms caused by viral upper respiratory tract infections; however, very few studies have examined its effect on common cold symptoms experienced by healthy individuals.
Although curcumin is known to have low availability, the various effects exhibited by curcumin are beneficial by increasing doses in the nontoxic range or by using processed curcumin to increase its availability.
There are many ways to increase bioavailability, and Theracurmin is one of the forms of curcumin with higher bioavailability. CR-033P has high dispersibility and is first prepared by micronizing ordinary crystalline curcumin into submicron particles using ghatti gum. These submicron particles are then mixed with different excipients to produce CR-033P, which contains about 30% curcumin.
This modified form improved the absorbability of curcumin in humans.
A randomized, open-label, three-period, six-sequence, crossover study revealed that the maximum blood concentration and area under the concentration-time curve of Theracurmin were 20 and 42 times higher than those of conventional curcumin, respectively. In addition, Theracurmin Super (TS-P1), a highly absorbable form of curcumin, was developed.
TS-P1 has been shown to increase the blood concentration of curcumin up to twice that obtained by administration of CR-033P. TS-P1 is first prepared by melting ordinary crystalline curcumin into amorphous curcumin (non-crystalline material), a form that exhibits higher solubility and/or faster dissolution rate.
This amorphous curcumin is then mixed with a dispersing agent and an excipient to produce TS-P1, which contains about 30 percent curcumin. These highly absorbable forms of curcumin, before mixing with other ingredients, are extracted from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa with permitted organic solvents and contain more than 85% curcumin, of which about 10% is dimethoxy curcumin and bisdemethoxy curcumin in their usual forms.
Another form of curcumin with higher bioavailability obtained by reducing particle size significantly reduced the time to symptom recovery in COVID-19 patients. Based on the above previous studies, it is expected that TS-P1 and CR-033P can alleviate common cold symptoms and modulate immune and inflammatory functions in healthy individuals.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of 12-week consumption of highly bioavailable curcumin (150 mg/day of Theracurmin Super [TS-P1] or Theracurmin [CR-033P]) on common cold symptoms, immune function, and inflammatory markers.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted from November 2021 to May 2022 in 99 healthy Japanese adults. Using a computerized random number generator, each subject was randomly assigned to one of the following three groups: TS-P1, CR-033P or placebo (n = 33 per group).
For 12 weeks, each group consumed the four capsules administered daily. The cumulative number of days of persistence of cold symptoms was defined as the primary outcome. Immune parameters, inflammatory parameters, liver function parameters and physical examination results were other outcomes.
A safety evaluation was also performed.
Ninety-four subjects completed the study, and the per-protocol set included 30 subjects in the placebo group, 32 subjects in the TS-P1 group, and 33 subjects in the CR-033P group. The cumulative number of days of persistence of cold symptoms was significantly lower in the TS-P1 and CR-033P groups than in the placebo group.
Consumption of highly bioavailable curcumin, TS-P1 or CR-033P (150 mg/day), for 12 weeks reduced the number of days of persistence of common cold symptoms in healthy Japanese adults.
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Source:”Effects of Highly Bioavailable Curcumin Supplementation on Common Cold Symptoms and Immune and Inflammatory Functions in Healthy Japanese Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Study”