The Effect of Curcumin on HDL Cholesterol Uptake Capacity in Obese Individuals: A Pilot Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Lung Diseases Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 International UNESCO center for Health Related Basic Sciences and Human Nutrition, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Student Research Committee, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Cardiovascular Diseases Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran

5 Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Division of Medical Education, Falmer, Brighton, Sussex BN1 9PH, UK.


Introduction: Obesity is a common risk factor associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Curcumin has been reported to exert beneficial effects on lipid metabolism, including HDL functionality. We have examined the effects of curcumin on HDL cholesterol uptake capacity in subjects with obesity.
Materials and Methods: 30 obese individuals received curcumin and placebo 1 g per day for a period of 30 days. The subjects were crossed over to the alternative regimen after a 2-week washout period. A modified cholesterol uptake capacity (CUC) assay was used to determine serum HDL functionality.
Results: The study groups had similar base line characteristics. We did not find significant effects (p>0.05) of curcumin on serum HDL CUC levels.
Conclusion: Curcumin administration at a dose of 1 g per day for 30 days did not affect HDL CUC in subjects with obesity.


  1. Apovian CM. Obesity: definition, comorbidities, causes, and burden. Am J Manag Care. 2016;22(7 Suppl):s176-85.
  2. Stunkard AJ. The Salmon lecture. Some perspectives on human obesity: its causes. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1988;64(8):902-23.
  3. Barter PJ, Caulfield M, Eriksson M, Grundy SM, Kastelein JJ, Komajda M, et al. Effects of torcetrapib in patients at high risk for coronary events. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(21):2109-22.
  4. Vaisar T, Pennathur S, Green PS, Gharib SA, Hoofnagle AN, Cheung MC, et al. Shotgun proteomics implicates protease inhibition and complement activation in the antiinflammatory properties of HDL. J Clin Invest. 2007;117(3):746-56.
  5. Khera AV, Cuchel M, de la Llera-Moya M, Rodrigues A, Burke MF, Jafri K, et al. Cholesterol efflux capacity, high-density lipoprotein function, and atherosclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(2):127-35.
  6. Sahebkar A. Curcuminoids for the management of hypertriglyceridaemia. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2014;11(2):123.
  7. Ganjali S, Blesso CN, Banach M, Pirro M, Majeed M, Sahebkar A. Effects of curcumin on HDL functionality. Pharmacol Res. 2017;119:208-18.
  8. Xie XY, Kong PR, Wu JF, Li Y, Li YX. Curcumin attenuates lipolysis stimulated by tumor necrosis factor-alpha or isoproterenol in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Phytomedicine. 2012;20(1):3-8.
  9. Sharma RA, Steward WP, Gescher AJ. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:453-70.
  10. Mohammadi A, Sahebkar A, Iranshahi M, Amini M, Khojasteh R, Ghayour-Mobarhan M, et al. Effects of supplementation with curcuminoids on dyslipidemia in obese patients: a randomized crossover trial. Phytother Res. 2013;27(3):374-9.
  11. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017;6(10).
  12. Harada A, Toh R, Murakami K, Kiriyama M, Yoshikawa K, Miwa K, et al. Cholesterol Uptake Capacity: A New Measure of HDL Functionality for Coronary Risk Assessment. J Appl Lab Med. 2017;2(2):186-200.
  13. Jones B, Kenward MG. Design and analysis of cross-over trials. Third edition. ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2014. xxvi, 412 pages.
  14. Salahshooh, M. M., Parizadeh, S. M. R., Pasdar, A., Karimian, M. S., Safarian, H., Javandoost, A., et al. (2017). The effect of curcumin (Curcuma longa L.) on circulating levels of adiponectin in patients with metabolic syndrome. Comparative Clinical Pathology, 26(1), 17-23.‏
  15. Saberi-Karimian, M., Parizadeh, S. M. R., Ghayour-Mobarhan, M., Salahshooh, M. M., Dizaji, B. F., Safarian, H., et al. (2018). Evaluation of the effects of curcumin in patients with metabolic syndrome. Comparative Clinical Pathology, 27(3), 555-563.‏
  16. Yang YS, Su YF, Yang HW, Lee YH, Chou JI, Ueng KC. Lipid-lowering effects of curcumin in patients with metabolic syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2014;28(12):1770-7.
  17. Baum L, Cheung SK, Mok VC, Lam LC, Leung VP, Hui E, et al. Curcumin effects on blood lipid profile in a 6-month human study. Pharmacol Res. 2007;56(6):509-14.
  18. Jang EM, Choi MS, Jung UJ, Kim MJ, Kim HJ, Jeon SM, et al. Beneficial effects of curcumin on hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance in high-fat-fed hamsters. Metabolism. 2008;57(11):1576-83.
  19. Sahebkar A. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of curcumin on blood lipid levels. Clin Nutr. 2014;33(3):406-14.
  20. Saeedi F, Farkhondeh T, Roshanravan B, Amirabadizadeh A, Ashrafizadeh M, Samarghandian S. Curcumin and blood lipid levels: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry. 2020:1-10.
  21. Gharanfoli M, Hakimelahi GH. Differential scanning calorimetric study of the molten globule state of cytochrome c induced by sodium n-dodecyl sulfate. Thermochim Acta. 2004; 409(2):137-144.
  22. Javandoost A, Afshari A, Saberi-Karimian M, Sahebkar A, Safarian H, Moammeri M, et al. The effects of curcumin and a modified curcumin formulation on serum Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein concentrations in patients with metabolic syndrome: A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2018;8(4):330-7.