Lipid-Encapsulated Curcumin Provides Greater Anti-Inflammatory, Neuroprotective Benefits than Unformulated Curcumin in Animal Study


Verdure Sciences’ Longvida-brand lipid-encapsulated curcumin ingredient was found to be more effective than standard curcumin in conferring neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory support in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

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In a study1 recently published in BMC Neuroscience, a lipid-encapsulated curcumin (Curcuma longa) ingredient, branded Longvida (Verdure Sciences; Noblesville, IN) was found to be more effective than standard curcumin in conferring neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory support in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Longvida is a curcumin ingredient formulated using Verdure Sciences’ patented solid lipid curcumin particle (SLCP) technology, which encapsulates the curcumin and allows it to better enter the bloodstream, as well as to cross the blood brain and blood retinal barriers, the company says. Longvida contains 20% optimized curcumin, while the standard curcumin used in this study contained 65% curcumin. 

The researchers note that neuroinflammation, the presence of amyloid beta protein (Aβ) plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles are all neurological factors that can herald the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin, which is known for its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, as well as for being a “potent anti-amyloid,” may be a one way of mitigating some of these neurological conditions. However, the researchers write, curcumin’s poor solubility, instability in physiological fluids, and low bioavailability make its clinical utility more difficult to assess. The researchers also note that alternative forms of curcumin may bolster curcumin’s therapeutic potential. One of the forms that has shown the greatest promise, they write, is Verdure Sciences’ SLCP. The study authors report that SLCP curcumin, Longvida, demonstrated greater permeability and neuroprotection than natural curcumin (standard curcumin that has not been specially modified to enhance bioavailability) in a previous in vitro model of Alzheimer’s disease.

In a press release from Verdure Sciences, the company pointed out that while researchers have conducted in vitro and in vivo research with both animal and human subjects, many of those studies have had to utilize chronic treatment in order to deliver therapeutically significant amounts of curcumin due to curcumin’s poor solubility and bioavailability. In this study, the researchers sought to examine the potential neurological health benefits of acute supplementation with SLCP in a murine model.

Thirty-two mice were divided into eight groups, and were injected intraperitoneally with either standard curcumin or Longvida SLCP for two or five days. Two groups of eight mice served as control groups. The eight groups were divided as follows: Group 1 (wild-type mice); Group 2 (wild-type mice injected with standard curcumin); Group 3 (wild-type mice injected with Longvida); Group 4 (mice with five familial Alzheimer’s disease mutations; 5xFAD); Group 5 (5xFAD plus Longvida injection for two days); Group 6 (5xFAD plus standard curcumin injection for five days); Group 7 (5xFAD plus Longvida injection for two days); and Group 8 (5xFAD plus Longvida injection for five days). All the mice in the groups given either standard curcumin or Longvida were injected with 50 mg/kg once per day, while the mice in the wild-type and 5xFAD groups were injected with the equivalent dosage of a vehicle consisting of a diluted methanol concentration.

Following injection of either standard curcumin or Longvida the researchers analyzed the mice’s brain tissues to assess the permeability of standard curcumin or Longvida in the animals’ brains. They also studied the amount of standard curcumin or Longvida that bound to the Aβ plaques in the animals’ brains. In order to determine the effects of acute treatment with either standard curcumin or Longvida, the researchers manually counted the number of Aβ plaques in the 5XFAD sections of the mice’s’ brains. The researchers also labeled the mice’s brain tissues for activated astrocytes and microglia, markers associated with neural inflammation, in order to determine standard curcumin’s and Longvida’s anti-inflammatory effects on brain tissue.

The researchers found that while both the standard curcumin and Longvida did permeate the animals’ brain tissues, the groups injected with Longvida demonstrated a greater degree of permeability than the groups given standard curcumin. The number of Aβ plaques in the mice’s brains, meanwhile, significantly decreased in the mice given either standard curcumin or Longvida, though the Longvida groups exhibited a greater reduction in Aβ plaques than did the standard curcumin group.

After five days of injection with either the standard curcumin or Longvida, the researchers observed significant decreases of pyknotic, or tangled-like, cells in certain areas of the hippocampus; however, these decreases were not evident in the groups that received injections for only two days. Microglial branching (or WHAT), microglial aggregation, and immunoreactive cells also decreased only in the group injected with standard curcumin or Longvida for five days, rather than two. The group given Longvida for five days did exhibit a greater decrease in these parameters than the standard curcumin group.

The researchers found that while both standard curcumin and Longvida permeated the brain in therapeutically significant amounts, decreased Aβ plaque loads, improved neuronal morphology, and decreased the number of GFAP-IR and iba-1-IR migroglia in the 5xFAD mice after five days of injection, the groups injected with Longvida tended to exhibit more effective anti-amyloid, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects than did the group given standard curcumin. Thus, the researchers concluded the Longvida may be more effective than standard curcumin at conferring anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits, and may also help to reduce abnormal neuronal morphology in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease mutations, as reflected by the decrease in these parameters in the 5xFAD mice cohort.

They wrote, “In the present study, we observed that [Longvida] tended to have greater affinity to Aβ plaques, compared to [unformulated] curcumin. Our findings suggest that the lipid bilayer of SLCP facilitates its permeability into the brain.”3
Kristen Marshall, marketing coordinator, Verdure Sciences, said in the press statement that the results from this study further establish Longvida’s potential in improving neuroprotective biomarkers. “Not only is it very exciting to see these results from Maiti P et al., but it is absolutely fantastic to have additional support for our previous research efforts on Longvida,” she said.

Sonya Cropper, vice president, innovation and marketing, Verdure Sciences, added that “this publication highlights the potential impact Longvida (SLCP) has on various neurological measures, with valuable insight into the difference on permeability and specific activity between curcumin and solid lipid curcumin (Longvida). The continued interest in curcumin from the research community will continue to bring a greater understanding on potential benefits, as well as the difference regarding various optimizing technologies.”



Also read: 

Smart Ingredients for Brain Health

Turmeric Ingredient Spotlight

2018 Ingredient Trends to Watch for Food, Drinks, and Dietary Supplements: Curcumin


  1. Maiti et al., “Solid lipid curcumin particles provide greater anti-amyloid, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects than curcumin in the 5xFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease,” BMC Journal. Published online ahead of print February 23, 2018.
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