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Keywords:

  • curcumin;
  • Curcuma longa L.;
  • phytochemical;
  • syndrome X;
  • insulin resistance

Abstract

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the yellow-orange pigment of dried Curcuma longa L. rhizomes (turmeric). During the past two decades, there has been a large volume of published studies describing the biological and pharmacological properties of this phytochemical including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, memory enhancing, antiparkinsonism, antirheumatic, anti-infectious, antiaging, antipsoriatic, and anticonvulsant activities. In addition, curcumin has been shown to be extremely safe and interact with multiple molecular targets that are involved in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome. Curcumin could favorably affect all leading components of metabolic syndrome including insulin resistance, obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, decreased HDL-C and hypertension, and prevent the deleterious complications of MetS including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Owing to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin can also exert several pleiotropic effects and improve endothelial dysfunction, adipokine imbalances, and hyperuricemia which usually accompany MetS. Despite the potential tremendous benefit of this multifaceted phytopharmaceutical, no trial result has yet been publicized on this issue. This review seeks to briefly summarize the ample scientific evidence that supports the therapeutic efficacy of curcumin, at least as an adjunctive treatment, in patients with MetS. © 2012 BioFactors, 2013