Curcumin Effects on Hepatic Steatosis and Histopathology in an Obese Mouse Mode

Nookala, Asha; Herndon, Betty; Molteni, Agostino; Zia, Hamid; Alba, Laura; Nachnani, Jagdish; Bulchandani, Deepti
March 2015
British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research;2015, Vol. 5 Issue 8, p1017
Academic Journal
Aims: Curcumin is a popular spice and part of the ancient medicinal system Ayurveda. It is known to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties; research has shown curcumin to have beneficial effects on induced liver damage in animals. Study Design: Based on our own observations demonstrating hepatic improvement with curcumin in both obese and wild-type animal models, as well as the work of others, we determined that an n of at least 6 in each group at the selected time point would allow for greater than 80% probability of finding significant differences at a level of P< 0.05 between curcumin treated versus control fed OB-OB mice in the proposed experiment. Realizing that histomorphometric data are more variable and to ensure statistically valid data, the n per group was raised to 10, which allowed us to significantly detect a 10% difference between groups using a power analysis program and statistical evaluation of the data (Statistica, Statsoft). Place and Duration of Study: With a protocol approved by the University Animal Care Committee, we tested the hypothesis that the natural fatty livers in leptin k/o mice (OB/OB) would be improved by adding curcumin to food pellets at doses equal to human use (mg/ kg body weight). Methodology: Ten curcumin-treated and ten untreated control OB/OB mice were fed 2 months then studied for effects. Food pellets (Harlan-Teklad) were prepared with and without 180 mg curcumin in the daily dietary intake (9 gm). Calories for both diets: protein 15.2%, carbs 62.5%, fat 22.3%. Results: Histopathology on organs and cytokine analysis on serum parameters were measured on the two groups. Blood glucose was elevated in 8/10 curcumin-treated mice (p=0.07 a trend). Cytokines adiponectin and TNFα were strongly decreased by the curcumin diet and tissue superoxide was reduced. Liver % fat was significantly reduced by the curcumin additive, P=.01. Conclusion: Dietary curcumin in OB/OB mice produces significant improvement in liver health by reduction of % hepatic fat as well as by improved cytokine and inflammatory values. An increase in blood glucose by this treatment remains unexplained.


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