Effect of tetrahydrocurcumin on blood glucose, plasma insulin and hepatic key enzymes in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2005;16(4):257-74. doi: 10.1515/jbcpp.2005.16.4.257.


The enzymes of glucose and lipid metabolism are markedly altered in experimental diabetes. In the present study, we investigated the effect of tetrahydrocurcumin (THC), one of the active metabolites in curcumin, on the key hepatic metabolic enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Different doses of THC (20, 40, and 80 mg\kg body weight) were orally administered to diabetic rats for 45 days. The activities of hexokinase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), glucose-6-phosphatase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, and sorbitol dehydrogenase in liver, and glycogen content in liver and muscle were assayed. In untreated diabetic control rats, the activities of the gluconeogenic enzymes were significantly increased, whereas hexokinase and G6PD activity and glycogen levels were significantly decreased. Both THC and curcumin were able to restore the altered enzyme activities to near normal levels. Tetrahydrocurcumin was more effective than curcumin. Our results indicate that the administration of THC to diabetic animals normalizes blood glucose and causes a marked improvement of altered carbohydrate metabolic enzymes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Curcumin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hemoglobins
  • Insulin
  • tetrahydrocurcumin
  • Glycogen
  • Curcumin