Curcuma oil ameliorates insulin resistance & associated thrombotic complications in hamster & rat.
Background & objectives: Curcuma oil (C. oil) isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) has been shown to have neuro-protective, anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-hyperlipidaemic effects in experimental animal models. However, its effect in insulin resistant animals remains unclear. The present study was carried out to investigate the disease modifying potential and underlying mechanisms of the C. oil in animal models of diet induced insulin resistance and associated thrombotic complications. Methods: Male Golden Syrian hamsters on high fructose diet (HFr) for 12 wk were treated orally with vehicle, fenofibrate (30 mg/kg) or C. oil (300 mg/kg) in the last four weeks. Wistar rats fed HFr for 12 wk were treated orally with C. oil (300 mg/kg) in the last two weeks. To examine the protective effect of C. oil, blood glucose, serum insulin, platelet aggregation, thrombosis and inflammatory markers were assessed in these animals. Results: Animals fed with HFr diet for 12 wk demonstrated hyperlipidaemia, hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia, alteration in insulin sensitivity indices, increased lipid peroxidation, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, platelet free radical generation, tyrosine phosphorylation, aggregation, adhesion and intravascular thrombosis. Curcuma oil treatment for the last four weeks in hamsters ameliorated HFr-induced hyperlipidaemia, hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, platelet activation, and thrombosis. In HFr fed hamsters, the effect of C. oil at 300 mg/kg was comparable with the standard drug fenofibrate. Curcuma oil treatment in the last two weeks in rats ameliorated HFr-induced hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia by modulating hepatic expression of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c), peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor-gamma co-activator 1 (PGC-1)α and PGC-1β genes known to be involved in lipid and glucose metabolism. Interpretation & conclusions: High fructose feeding to rats and hamsters led to the development of insulin resistance, hyperglycaemia, endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress. C. oil prevented development of thrombotic complications associated with insulin resistance perhaps by modulating genes involved in lipid and glucose metabolism. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.