Background: Curcumin extracts of turmeric are proposed to produce health benefits. To date, human intervention studies have focused mainly on people with existing health problems given high doses of poorly absorbed curcumin. The purpose of the current study was to check whether in healthy people, a low dose of a lipidated curcumin extract could alter wellness-related measures.
Methods: The present study was conducted in healthy middle aged people (40-60 years old) with a low dose of curcumin (80 mg/day) in a lipidated form expected to have good absorption. Subjects were given either curcumin (N = 19) or placebo (N = 19) for 4 wk. Blood and saliva samples were taken before and after the 4 weeks and analyzed for a variety of blood and saliva measures relevant to health promotion.
Results: Curcumin, but not placebo, produced the following statistically significant changes: lowering of plasma triglyceride values, lowering of salivary amylase levels, raising of salivary radical scavenging capacities, raising of plasma catalase activities, lowering of plasma beta amyloid protein concentrations, lowering of plasma sICAM readings, increased plasma myeloperoxidase without increased c-reactive protein levels, increased plasma nitric oxide, and decreased plasma alanine amino transferase activities.
Conclusion: Collectively, these results demonstrate that a low dose of a curcumin-lipid preparation can produce a variety of potentially health promoting effects in healthy middle aged people.