Spent turmeric reduces fat mass in rats fed a high-fat diet

Food Funct. 2016 Apr;7(4):1814-24. doi: 10.1039/c5fo00764j.


Indigestible carbohydrates may improve obesity. Spent turmeric contains high levels of dietary fibre and resistant starch (RS), which have fermentation potential in vitro. We hypothesised that indigestible carbohydrates in spent turmeric might prevent obesity development. In the first study, rats were administered 10% turmeric powder (TP) or spent turmeric powder (STP) in a high-fat (HF) diet for 28 d. In the second study, rats were fed 10% STP in a HF diet with or without antibiotics for 15 d. In the third study, rats were treated with a STP-containing suspension. In study 1, the TP and STP diet increased the caecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) content compared to that of a control diet. The lower energy intake in the TP and STP group was strongly related to the decrease in visceral fat weight. In study 2, after caecal fermentation suppression with antibiotics, STP treatment decreased the visceral fat mass. In study 3, the plasma glucose levels and incremental area under the curve (AUC) after ingestion of a STP-containing suspension were lower than those after ingestion of suspension alone. These findings suggest the reduction of carbohydrate absorption during the gastrointestinal passage after TP and STP treatment. Our data indicate that the reduced obesity development in rats fed a HF diet may be attributed to the low metabolisable energy density of carbohydrates in the spent turmeric, independent of SCFA-mediated factors.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Curcuma / metabolism*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile