Study Examines Effects of Curcumin on Cholesterol Levels


Source: Journal of Nutrition Research

Curcumin, the yellow substance found in turmeric, has been found to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, and lipid-lowering properties. The study authors hypothesized that curcumin could ameliorate the development of arteriosclerosis, and the study focused on the effects and potential mechanisms of curcumin consumption on high cholesterol diet-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits. During the study, New Zealand white rabbits were fed one of three experimental diets: a normal diet, a normal diet enriched with 1% cholesterol, or a cholesterol-enriched diet supplemented with 0.2% curcumin.

At the end of eight weeks, blood samples were collected to determine the levels of serum lipids, cytokines, and soluble adhesion molecule levels. The results indicated that in serum, curcumin reduced the levels of total cholesterol by 30.7%, triglyceride by 41.3%, LDL-cholesterol by 30.4%, and oxidized LDL-cholesterol by 66.9%, but did not affect HDL-cholesterol levels. In addition, the study also found that curcumin impacted inflammation levels, and demonstrated that curcumin exerts a significant anti-atherosclerotic effect.

(Study authors: Min Young Um, Kwang Hyun Hwang, Won Hee Choi, Jiyun Ahn, Chang Hwa Jung, Tae Youl Ha)