Given the increasing incidence of MetS in the US, daily curcumin consumption is a worthy consideration for practitioners seeking to modify cholesterol-related parameters in these patients
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is defined as a collection of clinical risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
Researchers have pinpointed the role that inflammation plays in MetS; yet, research has lagged in studying the effect of natural anti-inflammatory agents such as curcumin on MetS.
A Taiwanese study on curcumin published in the journal Phytotherapy Research may lead the way in changing how we treat this vulnerable population. A 12-week trial tested the effect of daily curcumin extract or a placebo on weight, glucose and lipid profiles in 65 patients with MetS who were randomised into 2 groups: 33 patients taking curcumin extract capsules (630mg three times daily) and 32 patients taking placebo capsules (also three times daily).
At the end of the trial, the curcumin group demonstrated an increased level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) from 41mg/dL to 44mg/dL (p<0.05), decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 121mg/dL to 107mg/dL (p<0.05), and reduced triglyceride levels by 65mg/dL.
Interestingly, the consumption of curcumin seemed to lower the total cholesterol levels in male patients and raise HDL-C levels in female patients. Although curcumin consumption was associated with lipid-lowering effects, it did not improve weight and glucose stability in patients with MetS.
Given the increasing incidence of MetS in the United States, daily curcumin consumption is a worthy consideration for practitioners seeking to modify cholesterol-related parameters in these patients.