Effect of curcumin supplementation on blood glucose, plasma insulin, and glucose homeostasis related enzyme activities in diabetic db/db mice



We investigated the effect of curcumin on insulin resistance and glucose homeostasis in male C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice and their age-matched lean non-diabetic db/+ mice. Both db/+ and db/db mice were fed with or without curcumin (0.02%, wt/wt) for 6 wks. Curcumin significantly lowered blood glucose and HbA1c levels, and it suppressed body weight loss in db/db mice. Curcumin improved homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and glucose tolerance, and elevated the plasma insulin level in db/db mice. Hepatic glucokinase activity was significantly higher in the curcumin-supplemented db/db group than in the db/db group, whereas glucose-6-phosphatase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activities were significantly lower. In db/db mice, curcumin significantly lowered the hepatic activities of fatty acid synthase, β-oxidation, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme reductase, and acyl-CoA: cholesterol acyltransferase. Curcumin significantly lowered plasma free fatty acid, cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations and increased the hepatic glycogen and skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase in db/db mice. Curcumin normalized erythrocyte and hepatic antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, gluthathione peroxidase) in db/db mice that resulted in a significant reduction in lipid peroxidation. However, curcumin showed no effect on the blood glucose, plasma insulin, and glucose regulating enzyme activities in db/+ mice. These results suggest that curcumin seemed to be a potential glucose-lowering agent and antioxidant in type 2 diabetic db/db mice, but had no affect in non-diabetic db/+ mice.