The antihyperglycemic effect of curcumin in high fat diet fed rats. Role of TNF-α and free fatty acids

Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 May;49(5):1129-40. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Feb 15.


This study was conducted to investigate the effect of curcumin, obtained from Curcuma longa, in comparison with rosiglitazone on the progression of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and the mechanisms underlying this effect. Insulin resistance and T2DM was induced in male Sprague Dawley rats by high fat diet (HFD) feeding for 60 and for 75 days representing two regimens of the study, protection and treatment. Prophylactic oral administration of curcumin (80 mg/kg), rosiglitazone (1 mg/kg), their combination, or vehicle (in control groups) was started along with HFD feeding in different groups. Treatment is achieved by oral administration of the previously mentioned agents in the last 15 days of HFD feeding after induction of insulin resistance and T2DM in rats. Curcumin showed an anti-hyperglycemic effect and improved insulin sensitivity, and this action may be attributed at least in part to its anti-inflammatory properties as evident by attenuating TNF-α levels in HFD fed rats, and its anti-lipolytic effect as evident by attenuating plasma free fatty acids. The curcumin effects are comparable to those of rosiglitazone, which indicate that they may act similarly. Finally we can say that, curcumin could be a beneficial adjuvant therapy in patients with T2DM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Thiazolidinediones / pharmacology
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Triglycerides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Curcumin