Scientists have identified curcumin as a potential treatment for the Covid-19. It suppresses SARS-CoV-2 better than some drugs on the market.
A new study, published in the journal Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, found that curcumin a potentially effective and safe remedy against coronavirus and suggest using it in nanostructured drugs.
Curcumin is a natural alkaloid found in the root of turmeric, a herb from the ginger family. Its medicinal properties are well studied, and its tolerance and safety have been proven.
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Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antioxidant, and antiviral properties.
It is capable of suppressing viral enzymes as well as modulating inflammation caused by infection. Curcumin is effective against hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency (HIV), Epstein-Barr and influenza A viruses.
As for SARS-CoV-2, curcumin blocks the interaction between the virus and human target cells. However, there is a problem when using curcumin directly – it is poorly soluble in water, and is extremely unstable in acidic and alkaline environments.
The authors propose to overcome this obstacle by creating nanostructured curcumin delivery systems, in which nanoemulsions, nanogels, micelles, nanoparticles, and liposomes are used as carriers.
Today, there are at least three commercially available nanostructured formulations containing curcumin. They have shown the ability to modulate immune responses, reduce symptoms of viral diseases, and accelerate recovery.
The authors of the study urge that clinical trials of these drugs against COVID-19 be carried out as soon as possible.