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Nutrition. 2017 Feb;34:47-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.09.005. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Tiny molecule, big power: Multi-target approach for curcumin in diabetic cardiomyopathy.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, Niigata, Japan.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Translational Psychiatry Program, McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Biomedical Science, College of Life Sciences, CHA University, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates.
Division of Hypertension and Vascular Research, Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, USA.
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, Niigata, Japan; NUPALS Liaison R/D Center, Niigata, Japan.
Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address:


Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is described as impaired cardiac diastolic and systolic functions. Diabetes mellitus (DM), a related cardiovascular disease, has become one of the major causes of death in DM patients. Mortality in these diseases is 2 to 3 times higher than in non-DM patients with cardiovascular disease. The progression of DCM and the cellular and molecular perturbations associated with the pathogenesis are complex and multifactorial. Although considerable progress has been achieved, the molecular etiologies of DCM remain poorly understood. There is an expanding need for natural antidiabetic medicines that do not cause the side effects of modern drugs. Curcumin, a pleiotropic molecule, from Curcuma longa, is known to possess numerous impacts such as scavenging free radical, antioxidant, antitumor, and antiinflammatory activities. The reports from preclinical and clinical findings revealed that curcumin can reverse insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, obesity, and obesity-related metabolic diseases. The current review provides an updated overview of the possible molecular mechanism of DCM and multitarget approach of curcumin in alleviating DCM and diabetic complication. Additionally, we mentioned the approaches that are currently being implemented to improve the bioavailability of this promising natural product in diabetes therapeutics.


Bioavailability; Curcumin; Diabetes mellitus; Diabetic cardiomyopathy; Heart failure; Inflammation; Oxidative stress

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