Curcumin attenuates diet-induced hepatic steatosis by activating AMP-activated protein kinase.
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013 Sep ;113(3):152-7. Epub 2013 May 25. PMID: 23574662
Min Young Um
Curcumin is a well-known component of traditional turmeric (Curcuma longa), which has been reported to prevent obesity and diabetes. However, the effect of curcumin on hepatic lipid metabolism remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of curcumin on hepatic steatosis in high-fat/cholesterol diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal diet (ND), HFD or HFD with 0.15% curcumin (HFD+C) for 11 weeks. We found that curcumin significantly lowered the body-weight and adipose tissue weight of mice in the HFD+C group compared with the findings for the HFD group (p<0.05). The levels of total cholesterol, fasting glucose and insulin in serum were decreased, and HFD-induced impairment of insulin sensitivity was improved by curcumin supplementation (p<0.05). Curcumin protected against the development of hepatic steatosis by reducing hepatic fat accumulation. Moreover, curcumin activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and elevated the gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha. By contrast, curcumin suppressed the HFD-mediated increases in sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1, acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1, fatty acid synthase and cluster of differentiation 36 expression. Taken together, these findings indicate that curcumin attenuates HFD-induced hepatic steatosis by regulating hepatic lipid metabolism via AMPK activation, suggesting its use as a therapeutic for hepatic steatosis.