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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Aug 24:jap.01115.2016. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01115.2016. [Epub ahead of print]

Curcumin limits weight gain, adipose tissue growth, and glucose intolerance following the cessation of exercise and caloric restriction in rats.

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York University.
McMaster University.
York University


Weight regain, adipose tissue growth, and insulin resistance can occur within days after the cessation of regular dieting and exercise. We investigated the effect of curcumin on preserving metabolic health and limiting adipose tissue growth following the cessation of daily exercise and caloric restriction (CR). Sprague-Dawley rats (6-7 wks old) underwent a 'training' protocol of 24 hr voluntary running wheel access and CR (15-20 g/day) for 3 wks ('All Trained') or were sedentary and fed ad libitum ('Sed'). After 3 wks, 'All Trained' were randomly divided into one group which was terminated immediately ('Trained'), and two detrained groups which had their wheels locked and were reintroduced to ad libitum feeding for 1 wk. The wheel locked groups received either a daily gavage of a placebo ('Detrained + Placebo') or curcumin (200 mg/kg) ('Detrained + Curcumin'). Cessation of daily CR and exercise caused an increase in body mass, as well as a 9- 14-fold increase in epididymal, perirenal, and inguinal fat mass, all of which were attenuated by curcumin (p<0.05). Insulin area under the curve (AUC) during an oral glucose tolerance test, HOMA-IR, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were all elevated in the Detrained + Placebo group versus the Trained group (all p<0.05). Curcumin reduced insulin AUC, HOMA-IR, and CRP versus the placebo group (all p<0.05). Our results indicate that curcumin has a protective effect against weight regain and impaired metabolic control following a successful period of weight loss through diet and exercise, perhaps via inhibition of glucocorticoid action and inflammation.


Weight regain; adipose tissue; detraining; glucocorticoid; inflammation

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