Protective Role of Dietary Curcumin in the Prevention of the Oxidative Stress Induced by Chronic Alcohol with respect to Hepatic Injury and Antiatherogenic Markers

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:5017460. doi: 10.1155/2016/5017460. Epub 2016 Jan 5.


Curcumin, an antioxidant compound found in Asian spices, was evaluated for its protective effects against ethanol-induced hepatosteatosis, liver injury, antiatherogenic markers, and antioxidant status in rats fed with Lieber-deCarli low menhaden (2.7% of total calories from ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)) and Lieber-deCarli high menhaden (13.8% of total calories from ω-3 PUFA) alcohol-liquid (5%) diets supplemented with or without curcumin (150 mg/kg/day) for 8 weeks. Treatment with curcumin protected against high ω-3 PUFA and ethanol-induced hepatosteatosis and increase in liver injury markers, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase. Curcumin upregulated paraoxonase 1 (PON1) mRNA and caused significant increase in serum PON1 and homocysteine thiolactonase activities as compared to high ω-3 PUFA and ethanol group. Moreover, treatment with curcumin protected against ethanol-induced oxidative stress by increasing the antioxidant glutathione and decreasing the lipid peroxidation adduct 4-hydroxynonenal. These results strongly suggest that chronic ethanol in combination with high ω-3 PUFA exacerbated hepatosteatosis and liver injury and adversely decreases antiatherogenic markers due to increased oxidative stress and depletion of glutathione. Curcumin supplementation significantly prevented these deleterious actions of chronic ethanol and high ω-3 PUFA. Therefore, we conclude that curcumin may have therapeutic potential to protect against chronic alcohol-induced liver injury and atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase / metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / drug therapy*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Curcumin / chemistry*
  • Diet*
  • Ethanol / adverse effects*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / chemistry
  • Fatty Liver / drug therapy
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Female
  • Glutathione / chemistry
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Aldehydes
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Ethanol
  • Pon1 protein, rat
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase
  • Glutathione
  • Curcumin
  • 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal