The effect of curcumin on hepatic fat content in individuals with obesity

Pernille H Hellmann, Jonatan I Bagger, Katrine R Carlander, Julie Forman, Elizaveta Chabanova, Jens S Svenningsen, Jens J Holst, Matthew P Gillum, Tina Vilsbøll, Filip K Knop


AIM: To evaluate the effect of curcumin treatment on hepatic fat content in obese individuals.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a double-blind, parallel-group trial, 37 obese, non-diabetic individuals were randomized to placebo or curcumin treatment for 6 weeks. Curcumin was dosed as lecithin-formulated tablet; 200 mg twice daily. The primary endpoint was hepatic fat content as assessed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Other endpoints included anthropometric measurements, hepatic biomarkers including FibroScan measurements, metabolic variables, inflammation markers, appetite measures and ad libitum food intake.

RESULTS: Baseline characteristics (mean ± SD) were age 46 ± 14 years, hepatic fat content 12.2% ± 8.8% points, body mass index 38.8 ± 6.1 kg/m2 and waist circumference 125.8 ± 12.3 cm. After 6 weeks of treatment with curcumin, hepatic fat content was changed by -0.86% points (95% CI -3.65; 1.94) compared with 0.71% points (95% CI - 2.08; 3.51) with placebo, thus resulting in a non-significant estimated treatment difference of -1.57% points (95% CI -5.36; 2.22, P = .412). Compared with placebo, curcumin treatment caused small reductions in fasting plasma glucose (estimated treatment difference [ETD] - 0.24 mmol/L [95% CI -0.45; -0.03]), triglycerides (ETD [percentage change] -20.22% [95% CI -33.21; -6.03]) and gamma glutamyltransferase (ETD [percentage change] -15.70% [95% CI -23.32; -7.32]), but except for gamma glutamyltransferase, none of these differences remained statistically significant after adjusting for multiple testing. Treatment was well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with placebo, curcumin treatment for 6 weeks had no significant effect on MRS-assessed hepatic fat content in obese individuals with primarily mild steatosis. Curcumin was well tolerated.

TidsskriftDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)2192-2202
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2022


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