Curcumin shows benefits for people with metabolic syndrome: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

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Bioavailable curcumin supplements may improve levels of adiponectin, a hormone that plays an important role in the regulation of insulin sensitivity and energy, in people with metabolic syndrome, says a new study.

Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Data from a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial indicated that eight weeks of supplementation with Sabinsa’s Curcumin C3 Complex product was associated with a 68% increase in adiponectin levels, compared with baseline levels.

Leptin levels decreased by 20%, compared to baseline levels, reported the authors in Nutrition​.

The study’s findings were welcomed by Shaheen Majeed, Marketing Director for Sabinsa. “The current study on C3 Complex adds to the growing body of clinical evidence pointing towards curcumin’s role in the management of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), which is a growing concern in both millennials and baby boomers,” ​he said.

“This is the first study on metabolic syndrome subjects exploring the effect of curcumin+BioPerine combination on adipokines levels, an imbalance which may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.

“This study further demonstrates Curcumin C3 Complex+BioPerine supplementation leads to improvement in both adiponectin and leptin levels and leptin:adiponectin ratio, an important biomarker for insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome subjects.”

Study details

The researchers recruited 117 people with Met S and randomly assigned them to receive either curcumin supplements (1000 mg/day) or placebo for eight weeks.

Results showed that serum adiponectin levels significantly increased in the curcumin group, while serum leptin concentrations decreased. The ratio of leptin to adiponectin also improved following curcumin supplementation, wrote the authors.

The data from this clinical trial was pooled with data from two others for a small meta-analysis, which suggested that curcumin may significantly increase adiponectin levels by 77%, and non-significantly reduce leptin by 26%.

“[S]everal lines of evidence have suggested adiponectin as a key player in limiting the pathogenesis of obesity-related diseases including metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease,”​ wrote the authors. “The protective effects of adiponectin in reducing the risk of cardiometabolic diseases could be attributed to improvement of lipid and glucose metabolism as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, anti-hypertensive and anti-atherosclerotic actions of this adipokine.

“These beneficial effects are mediated by the capacity of this adipokines to interact with important mediators/signaling molecules/pathways involved in cardiometabolic disturbances.

“Interestingly, curcumin has been shown to have the same multi-target capacity of action, and its capacity to interact with several key regulators such as transcription factors, enzymes, pro-inflammatory cytokines, acute phase proteins, antioxidants, growth factors, hormones, secondary messengers and nitric oxide, along with direct effects on adipokines production, could justify the beneficial cardiometabolic effects of this phytochemical.

“Future studies are encouraged to ascertain the impact of supplementation duration and curcumin dose on the observed beneficial effects, and also the value of improving adipokine status with curcumin in obese individuals and its plausible association with changes in body weight and fat content,” ​wrote the researchers.

The researchers were affiliated with Baqiyatallah university of Medical Sciences (Iran), Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (Iran), Sabinsa Inc (New Jersey), and the University of Western Australia.

Source: Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.03.018
“Effects of Supplementation with Curcumin on Serum Adipokine Concentrations: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
Authors: Y. Panahi, et al. 

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