Curcumin is an herbal polyphenol extensively investigated for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidaemic properties. In the present review, the efficacy of curcumin for improving a plasma lipid profile has been evaluated and compared with statins, a well-known class of medicines for treating hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidaemia. Curcumin is presumably most effective in reducing triglyceride (TG), while statins are most efficient in lowering low-density lipoproteins-cholesterol (LDL-C). Additionally, various molecular and metabolic mediators of cholesterol and plasma lipid homeostasis are discussed in relation to how they are modulated by curcumin or statins. Overall, curcumin influences the same mediators of plasma lipid alteration as statins do. Almost all the pathways through which cholesterol trafficking takes place are affected by these agents. These include gastrointestinal absorption of dietary cholesterol, hepatocellular removal of plasma cholesterol, the mediators of reverse cholesterol transport, and removal of cholesterol from peripheral tissues. Moreover, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging potential of curcumin limits the risk of lipid peroxidation that triggers inflammatory responses causing cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and atherosclerosis. Taken together, curcumin could be used as a safe and well-tolerated adjunct to statins to control hyperlipidaemia more effectively than statins alone.
Keywords: anti-oxidant; cholesterol; curcumin; lipoproteins; statins; triglyceride.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.