Objectives: This study aimed to determine whether an enhanced bioavailable curcumin formulation, CurQfen®, would improve circulating cardiovascular disease-related blood biomarkers and arterial function in young (age 18-35 y), obese (body mass index ≥ 30.0 kg/m2) men.
Methods: This double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial evaluated 22 men. The participants were matched based on body mass index and randomized to the intervention (curcumin formulated with fenugreek soluble fiber, for enhanced absorption) or control (fenugreek soluble fiber) group for 12 wk at 500mg/d without dietary modification or exercise. Blood samples and endothelial function measures were acquired at 0 and 12 wk, and blood samples were analyzed for cardiovascular disease-related blood biomarkers. Furthermore, central (aortic) blood pressure and augmentation index were monitored at 0, 4, 8, and 12 wk.
Results: After 12 wk of intervention, homocysteine levels were lower (curcumin before: 12.22 ± 2.29 µg/mL, after: 8.62 ± 1.02 µg/mL versus placebo before: 9.45 ± 0.84 µg/mL, after: 11.84 ± 1.63 µg/mL; P = 0.04) and high-density lipoprotein levels were higher (curcumin before: 40.77 ± 5.37 mg/dL, after: 54.56 ± 11.72 mg/dL versus placebo before: 61.20 ± 5.76 mg/dL, after: 48.82 ± 5.49 mg/dL; P = 0.04) in the curcumin group relative to the placebo group. However, there was no significant difference in changes between the circulating concentrations of glucose, insulin, leptin, adiponectin, or oxidative stress biomarkers in the curcumin group compared with the placebo group (P > 0.05). No changes were found with endothelial function, augmentation index, or central blood pressure in the curcumin group compared with the placebo group (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Our data provide evidence for an enhanced bioavailable curcumin to improve homocysteine and high-density lipoprotein concentrations, which may promote favorable cardiovascular health in young, obese men. Improvements in endothelial function or blood pressure were not observed with curcumin supplementation, thus further investigation is warranted.
Keywords: Turmeric; adiposity; arteriosclerosis; intervention; vascular function; vasodilation.
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