Curcumin supplementation ameliorated vascular dysfunction and improved antioxidant status in rats fed a high-sucrose, high-fat diet

I-Jung Tsai, Chia-Wen Chen, Shin-Yu Tsai, Pei-Yuan Wang, Eddy Owaga, Rong-Hong Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular endothelial dysfunction is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This study evaluated the effect of curcumin on factors associated with vascular dysfunction using rats fed a high-sucrose, high-fat (HSF) diet. The experiment included 2 animal feeding phases. In the first feeding phase, male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into 2 groups: the control group (n = 8) was fed a standard diet (AIN-93G) and the HSF group (n = 24) was fed an HSF diet for 8 weeks to induce obesity. In the second feeding phase, lasting 4 weeks, the HSF group was randomly divided into 3 subgroups: the O group (n = 8) continued feeding on the HSF diet, the OA group (n = 8) had the HSF diet replaced with AIN-93G, and the OC group (n = 8) was fed the HSF diet supplemented with curcumin (300 mg/kg body weight daily). After 8 weeks, the HSF diet significantly elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), insulin, homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), homocysteine (Hcy), C-reactive protein (CRP), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) but significantly reduced levels of nitric oxide (NO) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). After dietary intervention, the OA and OC groups exhibited significantly lower levels of AST, ALT, HOMA-IR, cholesterol, LDL-C, Hcy, CRP, VCAM-1, and ICAM-1 and higher levels of NO and catalase (CAT) activity compared with the O group. Superoxide dismutase, CAT, and glutathione peroxidase activities were increased in the OA group, while CAT levels were enhanced in the OC group. In conclusion, this study showed that curcumin supplementation and diet modification can inhibit HSF diet-induced vascular dysfunction potentially by enhancing NO production and antioxidant enzyme activities, thereby suppressing inflammation and oxidative damage in the vascular endothelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-676
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number7
Early online dateJan 29 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Curcumin
  • High-sucrose high-fat diet
  • Homocysteine
  • Nitric oxide
  • Vascular endothelial dysfunction
  • Insulin/blood
  • Male
  • Curcumin/administration & dosage
  • Diet, High-Fat/adverse effects
  • Vascular Diseases/drug therapy
  • Liver/drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress/drug effects
  • Cholesterol/blood
  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Homocysteine/blood
  • Dietary Sucrose/adverse effects
  • Malondialdehyde/blood
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Alanine Transaminase/blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Rats
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/blood
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Animals
  • Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects
  • Antioxidants/metabolism
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases/blood
  • C-Reactive Protein/metabolism
  • Inflammation/drug therapy
  • Obesity/drug therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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