Sept 20, 2012 by MARCO TORRES
60 Percent Reduction In Triglycerides By Using Curcumin and Lifestyle Changes
Daily supplements of curcumin combined with diet and exercise strategies could be associated with more than a 60% reduction in triglyceride levels, a reduction known impossible through pharmaceutical intervention alone.
New data from a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind clinical trial showed that thirty days of receiving one gram per day of Sabinsa's Curcumin C3 Complex led to significant decreases in triglyceride levels in obese people, according to findings published in Phytotherapy Research.
Triglycerides are the most important form of body fat. The energy content in triglycerides is greater than that in carbohydrates and proteins. The extra carbohydrates and proteins, which are not converted into energy, are transformed into triglycerides. Triglycerides are essential for healthy living. However, excess triglycerides can harm the body.
High triglyceride levels are usually seen in obese and overweight people, especially those who fail to consistenly burn the excess dietary calories. This results in the body converting the excess carbohydrates and proteins into triglycerides, pushing up the triglyceride level in the blood.
Abnormal amount of lipids (dyslipidemia) is a common feature of obesity, explained researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran and the University of Keele in England, and a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
One of the most comprehensive summaries of a review of 700 turmeric studies to date was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd. He showed that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects.
This study adds to the list of potential health benefits of curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color.
The compound has increasingly come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with research groups around the globe investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer's, and potential protection against cancer.
Sabinsa's Curcumin C3 Complex is a combination of curcuminoids with the natural bioavailability-enhancer BioPerine.
The researchers recruited 30 obese people to participate in their placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, crossover trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or one gram per day of the curcumin complex for 30 days. This was followed by a two-week washout period and the participants were then assigned to the other group for a further 30 days.
Results showed that curcumin supplementation reduced triglyceride levels by between 10 and 13% (first period, from 105.7 to 95.1 mg/dL, and second period, from 120.7 to 104.7 mg/dL), while no significant changes on other lipid profile parameters were observed.
The triglyceride-lowering activity is probabaly linked to curcumin's insulin sensitizing effects, said the researchers.
"There is a pile of evidence indicating an increased risk of insulin resistance syndrome and diabetes mellitus in obese individuals," they added , and this is attributed to changes in the secretion of adipokines and inflammatory cytokines by the fat (adipose) tissue.
Researcher and Physician Dr. Melinda Roberts says that lifestyle changes in combination with supplements are the key to lowering triglyceride levels by standards unattainable by medication. "Incorporating healthy unsaturated dietary fats, exercising, and losing weight combined with curcumin supplements could reduce triglycerides by over 60%, which is unheard of via prescription medication," she stated.
"Improvement of adipokine status together with antiinflammatory effects of curcumin are potential mechanisms, which might be responsible for its beneficial impacts in the mitigation of insulin resistance."
For people who are outside the normal range of triglycerides, scientists recommend limiting:
- Added sugar to less than 5% to 10% of calories, or about 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories daily for men
- Fructose, from processed foods and naturally occurring foods, to less than 50 grams per day
- Trans fat to less than 0.5% of total calories
- Alcohol, especially if triglyceride levels are higher than 500 milligrams per deciliter
- Avoiding all refined and processed carbohydrates.
The study was funded by the Mashhad University of Medical Science.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.