Effect of curcumin supplementation on blood glucose, plasma insulin, and glucose homeostasis related enzyme activities in diabetic db/db mice

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Sep;52(9):995-1004. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700184.


We investigated the effect of curcumin on insulin resistance and glucose homeostasis in male C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice and their age-matched lean non-diabetic db/+ mice. Both db/+ and db/db mice were fed with or without curcumin (0.02%, wt/wt) for 6 wks. Curcumin significantly lowered blood glucose and HbA 1c levels, and it suppressed body weight loss in db/db mice. Curcumin improved homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and glucose tolerance, and elevated the plasma insulin level in db/db mice. Hepatic glucokinase activity was significantly higher in the curcumin-supplemented db/db group than in the db/db group, whereas glucose-6-phosphatase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activities were significantly lower. In db/db mice, curcumin significantly lowered the hepatic activities of fatty acid synthase, beta-oxidation, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme reductase, and acyl-CoA: cholesterol acyltransferase. Curcumin significantly lowered plasma free fatty acid, cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations and increased the hepatic glycogen and skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase in db/db mice. Curcumin normalized erythrocyte and hepatic antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, gluthathione peroxidase) in db/db mice that resulted in a significant reduction in lipid peroxidation. However, curcumin showed no effect on the blood glucose, plasma insulin, and glucose regulating enzyme activities in db/+ mice. These results suggest that curcumin seemed to be a potential glucose-lowering agent and antioxidant in type 2 diabetic db/db mice, but had no affect in non-diabetic db/+ mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / enzymology
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / drug effects
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / drug effects
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin
  • Lipoprotein Lipase
  • Curcumin
  • Glucose