Curcuma oil ameliorates hyperlipidaemia and associated deleterious effects in golden Syrian hamsters
: Essential oil components from turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) are documented for neuroprotective, anti-cancer, anti-thrombotic and antioxidant effects. The present study aimed to investigate the disease-modifying potential of curcuma oil (C. oil), a lipophilic component from C. longa L., in hyperlipidaemic hamsters. Male golden Syrian hamsters were fed a chow or high-cholesterol (HC) and fat-rich diet with or without C. oil (30, 100 and 300 mg/kg) for 28 d. In HC diet-fed hamsters, C. oil significantly reduced plasma total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and TAG, and increased HDL-cholesterol when compared with the HC group. Similar group comparisons showed that C. oil treatment reduced hepatic cholesterol and oxidative stress, and improved liver function. Hyperlipidaemia-induced platelet activation, vascular dysfunction and repressed eNOS mRNA expression were restored by the C. oil treatment. Furthermore, aortic cholesterol accumulation and CD68 expression were also reduced in the C. oil-treated group. The effect of C. oil at 300 mg/kg was comparable with the standard drug ezetimibe. Delving into the probable anti-hyperlipidaemic mechanism at the transcript level, the C. oil-treated groups fed the chow and HC diets were compared with the chow diet-fed group. The C. oil treatment significantly increased the hepatic expression of PPARa, LXRa, CYP7A1, ABCA1, ABCG5, ABCG8 and LPL accompanied by reduced SREBP-2 and HMGCR expression. C. oil also enhanced ABCA1, ABCG5 and ABCG8 expression and suppressed NPC1L1 expression in the jejunum. In the present study, C. oil demonstrated an anti-hyperlipidaemic effect and reduced lipid-induced oxidative stress, platelet activation and vascular dysfunction. The anti-hyperlipidaemic effect exhibited by C. oil seems to be mediated by the modulation of PPARa, LXRa and associated genes involved in lipid metabolism and transport.