Curcumin has been used as a traditional medicine and/or functional food in several cultures because of its health benefits including anticancer properties. However, poor oral bioavailability of curcumin has limited its oral usage as a food supplement and medical food. Here we formulated curcumin pellets using a solid dispersion technique. The pellets had the advantages of reduced particle size, improved water solubility, and particle porosity. This pellet form led to an improvement in curcumin’s oral bioavailability. Additionally, we used the C-Map and Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) Unified Environment (CLUE) gene expression database to determine the potential biological functions of formulated curcumin. The results indicated that, similar to conventional curcumin, the formulated curcumin acted as an NF-κB pathway inhibitor. Moreover, ConsensusPathDB database analysis was used to predict possible targets and it revealed that both forms of curcumin exhibit similar biological functions, including apoptosis. Biochemical characterization revealed that both the forms indeed induced apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines. We concluded that the formulated curcumin increases the oral bioavailability in animals, and, as expected, retains characteristics similar to conventional curcumin at the cellular level. Our screening platform using big data not only confirms that both the forms of curcumin have similar mechanisms but also predicts the novel mechanism of the formulated curcumin.
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