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Nutr Res Rev. 2005 Dec;18(2):212-21. doi: 10.1079/NRR2005106.

Therapeutic potential of curcumin in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

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  • 1Clinical Hypnosis Unit, E. Wolfson Medical Center, Holon 58100, Israel.


Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may be associated with a number of clinical conditions, but it occurs most commonly in patients with insulin resistance. There is as yet no established disease-modifying treatment, and a safe and broadly available agent that targets hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, inflammation and fibrosis is necessary. The polyphenolic compound curcumin exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, inhibits NF-kappaB and activates PPAR-gamma. In rodents, curcumin prevents dietary-induced hepatic steatosis, hepatic stellate cell activation and production of fibrotic proteins, and ameliorates steatohepatitis induced by the intake of alcohol or a methionine-choline-deficient diet. Indirect evidence suggests that curcumin may improve insulin sensitivity in diabetes and inflammatory states. The present paper reviews the numerous cellular and animal studies indicating that curcumin attenuates many of the pathophysiological processes involved in the development and progression of NASH. It is suggested that basic and clinical studies on curcumin in the development and progression of NASH are indicated.

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