Send to

Choose Destination
J Food Sci. 2011 Apr;76(3):H80-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02042.x.

Attenuation of fatty liver and prevention of hypercholesterolemia by extract of Curcuma longa through regulating the expression of CYP7A1, LDL-receptor, HO-1, and HMG-CoA reductase.

Author information

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


The extract of Curcuma longa, better known as turmeric, was orally administered to experimental rats that were fed a high-cholesterol diet to investigate whether it could regulate plasma lipids and cholesterol levels and possibly improve hepatic conditions. With turmeric supplements, rats showed a significant decrease in total plasma cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol but an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol when compared with rats that were fed a high-cholesterol diet alone. Fatty liver developed in hypercholesterolemic rats with the high-cholesterol diet treatment, and this condition was markedly improved when rats were provided with turmeric supplements at 100 mg/kg or 300 mg/kg of body mass. The turmeric treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the total amount of hepatic lipid. Histological staining of liver tissues with Sudan III and hematoxylin showed that rats fed with a high-cholesterol diet alone had more and larger granular fat bodies than rats having turmeric extract supplementation in their high-cholesterol diet. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to assess the expression levels of enzymes involved in fat metabolism and cellular homeostasis in experimental rat livers. The results showed that rats fed a high-cholesterol diet supplemented with turmeric extract had a significant increase in the expression of cholesterol 7 α-hydroxylase, hemeoxygenase 1, and low-density lipoprotein receptors but a significant decrease in 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase level when compared with rats fed a normal or high-cholesterol diet, showing that turmeric prevents hypercholesterolemia and the formation of fatty liver by the modulation of expressions of enzymes that are important to cholesterol metabolism.


  Turmeric may be considered a functional food for regulating plasma cholesterol levels and preventing the development of fatty liver in people who frequently consume a high-cholesterol diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center