Protective effects of Curcumin against development of atherosclerosis

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AJBM  Volume 2, Issue 1, pages 132–145, January 2014

Juan B Potte, Victor R Hinojoza, Carlos  Pamela, Nibaldo  Lavandero


Atherosclerosis is characterized by oxidative damage, which affects lipoproteins, the walls of blood vessels, and subcellular membranes. The oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis. Curcumin is a component of turmeric, a spice used in many types of cooking and gives the yellow color to turmeric, was first isolated almost two centuries ago, and its structure as diferuloylmethane was determined in 1910. Since the time of Ayurveda (1900 Bc) numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. Curcumin has been known that turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory activity, this activity of turmeric is due to curcumin, a diferuloylmethane, and has been shown to regulate numerous transcription factors, cytokines, protein kinases, adhesion molecules, redox status and enzymes that have been linked to inflammation. The process of inflammation has been shown to play a major role in most chronic illnesses, like atherosclerosis. The researchers showed that curcumin exhibited protective effects as indicated by inhibition of lipoperoxidation of subcellular membranes. Oral curcumin inhibits LDL oxidation and has hypocholesterolemic effects in rabbits with experimental atherosclerosis. In the current review, we provide evidence for the potential role of curcumin in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and pharmacological safety and negligible cost.

Keywords:  Atherosclerosis, LDL, Curcumin, Pro-inflammatory cytokines, Anti-inflammatory activity