Micellar Curcuma – 185 Times Increased Bioavailability?

Polysorbate 80 is often contained in products that are described as a worldwide breakthrough.

Polysorbate 80 is also referred to as E433. It is a synthetic emulsifier approved as a food additive in Europe. Also sometimes relatively high proportions of polysorbate 80 can be found in food supplements.

A human study suggests that the liquid micellar formulation of curcuma with polysorbate 80 has a 185 times higher bioavailability than conventional Curcuma longa powder. [1]

Bioavailability can also be improved with natural substances. The most known example is piperine. A 20-fold increased bioavailability of Curcuma longa powder in humans and animals was noted when adding piperine. This corresponds to 2,000%. [2]

It is true that the artificial micellar curcuma has an increased bioavailability. However, nutritional supplements with micellar curcuma often contain higher amounts of polysorbate 80. This has the property of being able to easily penetrate natural membranes and enter the cells. Precisely because of these cross-border properties, however, decisive disadvantages also result. Some are mentioned here. These include:

1. Inhibition of Cell Respiration

Polysorbate 80 resulted in inhibited electrical membrane potential in the mitochondria (power plants) of the cell in an animal study. Consequently, cell respiration and ATP synthesis were affected.

This resulted in lower ATP production. ATP is essential as a universal energy molecule in the body.

2. Greater Bioavailability of Environmental Toxins

In the same study it was also shown that polysorbate 80 makes the environmental toxin phthalate more bioavailable. Phthalate is one of the plasticizers. [3]

3. Affecting the Reproductive Organs

In another study in rats, the reproductive organs of the test animals were affected after the administration of polysorbate 80. [4]

4. Disorders of the Intestinal Flora, Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome and Liver Damage

Polysorbate 80 promoted a disturbance of microbial intestinal flora in mice. This disorder is associated with various chronic inflammatory disorders, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. [5a] Another study with mice showed liver damage in the animals. [5b]


In order to make a fat-soluble nutritional supplement such as curcuma also water-soluble and thus increase bioavailability, one does not have to use chemistry.

A real alternative is a curcuma extract with natural phosphatidylcholine from phospholipids, or the combination of curcuma with the organic enhancer piperine from black pepper.

These natural organic enhancers of bioavailability have the advantage in that the natural boundaries are respected.

In addition to polysorbate 80, other synthetic emulsifiers and stabilizers also circulate (can be found?) in liquid food supplements. Here, one should obtain precise information in each individual case, before taking a preparation.

[1] The oral bioavailability of curcumin from micronized powder and liquid micelles is significantly increased in healthy humans and differs between sexes.
[2] Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.
[3] Food emulsifier polysorbate 80 increases intestinal absorption of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in rats.
[4] Delayed effects of neonatal exposure to Tween 80 on female reproductive organs in rats.
[5a] Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome.
[5b] Food Additive P-80 Impacts Mouse Gut Microbiota Promoting Intestinal Inflammation, Obesity and Liver Dysfunction.

About Alexander Michalzik

Alexander Michalzik Naturheilarzt, klassischer Homöopath, Ausbildung in Psychotherapie, Tai Chi Chuan Lehrerausbildung, Anthropologie des Heilens. Aufenthalte bei Heilern von Naturvölkern. Gründung der Arge Biotikon vor fast 30 Jahren. Wissenschaftliche Kooperation mit IEPG (www.institut-iepg.de)
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4 Responses to Micellar Curcuma – 185 Times Increased Bioavailability?

  1. BRIOSNEbBRIOS says:

    quel est le pouvoir de curcuma 100 ? le chrome ?

  2. Hanna Schmeer says:


    Nous sommes désolés de ne pouvoir vous donner une réponse car nous ne produisons pas de curcuma 100. Nous produisons du curcuma ou chaque gélule contient 440mg d’extrait de curcuma. Le pourcentage de curcuminoides est de 95%.

  3. Raino says:

    Und was sagen Sie zu Curcuma 6% von vitaswiss, bzw. auch swissvita.eu?
    Da wird von einer Mizellen Herstellung gesprochen, mit einer fast 100%igen Bioverfügbarkeit. Ich überlege, dieses Produkt zu kaufen. Es ist teurer als andere Curcumin Produkte.
    Da stellt sich mir die Frage, warum und ob es Sinn macht.
    Vielen Dank vorab für Ihre Antwort.

  4. Elisha Lohr says:

    Sehr geehrter Herr Raino,

    wir haben einige verschiedene Curcuma Produkte in unserem Sortiment wie das Curcuma Lecithin forte mit 95% natürlichen Curcuminoiden und Phospholipid-Extrakt.
    Fragen zu anderen Produkten wenden Sie bitte an den Hersteller selbst.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    Ihr Biotikon Team

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