Curcumin as a Potential Candidate for Treating Hyperlipidemia: A Review of Cellular and Metabolic Mechanisms

J Cell Physiol. 2018 Jan;233(1):141-152. doi: 10.1002/jcp.25756. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Curcumin / adverse effects
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / adverse effects
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / diagnosis
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Curcumin