김태균(Tae Gyun Kim);김승희(Seung Hee Kim);강석연(Soeg Youn Kang);정기경(Ki Kyung Jung);박용복(Yong Bok Park);최명숙(Myung Sook Choi);이흠숙(Heum Sook Lee);한형미(Hyung Mee Han)
Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, curry and mustard, has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. In this study, we investigated the hypocholesterolemic and anti-atherogenic effect of curcumin in rabbits. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by feeding high cholesterol diet to male rabbits for 30 days, and the animals were then fed high cholesterol diet containing 0.1% (w/w) or 0.5% (w/w) curcumin for additional 30 days. Supplementation of 0.1% curcumin tended to lower serum total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels and inhibit serum lipid peroxidation. In the 0.5% curcumin-supplemented group, serum total cholesterol was significantly lowered by 11.7%, LDL-cholesterol by 12.8% and lipid peroxidation by 47.9% compared to the control group. Hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride contents were also significantly lowered by 50.6% and 37.4%, respectively compared to the control group. Lipid staining of the arteries isolated from the curcumin-treated rabbits showed that curcumin significantly decreased formation of fatty streaks and atheromatous plaques on the intima of the arteries. These results demonstrated that curcumin lowered serum cholesterol concentration, hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride contents, and accumulation of cholesterol in the artery. These cholesterol lowering effects of curcumin, together with its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities, may play some important roles in preventing atherosclerosis.