Stronger Together

Cyclodextrins Increase Bioavailability

With the aid of CAVACURMIN® from WACKER, food supplement manufacturer Dr. Wolz has formulated a product with a curcumin extract that is absorbed considerably better by the body than conventional supplements.

As a manufacturer of functional food supplements, Dr. Wolz therefore rose to the challenge and set itself the aim of formulating its curcumin product so as to ensure optimum bioavailability for consumers despite the hydrophobic nature of the active ingredient.

“One method of increasing the bioavailability of hydrophobic substances, such as curcumin, is complexation with our cyclodextrins,” explains Dana Elgeti, marketing manager for nutrition at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS. WACKER bioengineers these ring-shaped sugar molecules via enzymatic degradation from the starch-containing raw material corn.

The characteristic feature of cyclodextrins is their three-dimensional structure: it forms a ring with a hydrophobic interior cavity that is capable of receiving a lipophilic “guest” molecule – such as curcumin – provided its size and shape are compatible. The cyclodextrin’s hydrophilic shell can increase the bioavailability of curcumin, i.e. the amount that can be taken up by the human body.

Studies Verify Benefits

The study, which was published in the European Journal of Nutrition in February 2017, confirms the positive effect of CAVACURMIN®. With CAVACURMIN®, the concentration of curcuminoids in the participants’ blood was already significantly higher in the initial hours after ingestion than with pure curcumin extract or conventional curcumin products (A and B).

Several scientific studies have confirmed the positive effect attained by complexation with cyclodextrins. In 2013, a human clinical trial compared the relative absorption of the curcumin-gamma-cyclodextrin complex – marketed by WACKER as CAVACURMIN® – with a conventional curcumin extract (95%) and two further leading curcumin products said to have superior bioavailability (a curcumin-phytosome formulation and a formulation of curcumin oil from the Curcuma longa rhizome).

Over the course of the clinical study, 12 healthy participants, aged between 20 and 35, each took one of the three different bioavailable curcumin formulations or the conventional curcumin extract (95%) on an empty stomach. All test samples were administered as capsules with water only. After four and eight hours, respectively, the participants received a standardized, low-fat meal, so that any other influence on the absorption of the curcuminoids – for example due to fat – could be ruled out. Following ingestion of the products, blood samples were taken from the participants at regular intervals over a 12-hour period and analyzed. Earlier studies had suggested that absorption and metabolization would be largely completed within this time frame.