Novel curcumin formulation may improve arterial health for young obese people

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

 © iStock/areeya_ann
© iStock/areeya_ann

Related tags: Blood pressure

Twelve weeks of supplementation with a novel curcumin formulation may reduce arterial stiffness and pulse pressure in the brachial artery, both risk markers for cardiovascular disease, says a new study.

A daily 500 mg dose of the CurQfen curcumin-fenugreek ingredient was associated with a 14% reduction in pulse pressure in the brachial artery, a surrogate marker for aortic stiffness, compared to a 2.4% increase in brachial PP in the placebo group, according to findings published in the Journal of Functional Foods​.

“The present study provides initial evidence for the novel curcumin compound, CurQfen, to de-stiffen arteries in young, obese males with elevated baseline aortic stiffness to enhance cardiovascular health,”​ wrote researchers led by Prof Bradly Fleenor of the University of Kentucky.

“Importantly, the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, when administered in a bioavailable formulation, are implicated in the amelioration of aortic stiffness. Reduced aortic stiffness is likely to cause a reduction in CV risk and mortality.

“These preliminary findings also suggest a potential mechanistic role of anti-inflammatory IL-13 in the amelioration of aortic stiffness that warrants further investigation.”

The ingredient

CurQfen is a combination of curcumin with fenugreek soluble dietary fiber and is marketed by the Spiceuticals division of Akay Flavours & Aromatics Pvt, Ltd, (India).    

“We are inspired by the present results and curious to address further studies to have complete idea on the potentially beneficial cardiac effects that CurQfen can offer as a food grade and 100% natural formulation with enhanced curcuminoids bioavailability and cellular permeability,” ​said Dr Krishna Kumar, Head of R&D at AKAY.   

Turmeric/curcumin

The study adds to the ever-growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of turmeric and the curcuminoids it contains, which include support for brain, cardiovascular, joint, and muscle health.

Turmeric/curcumin holds top spot for sales in the natural channel, with total sales of $37,334,821 (up 32% over the previous year’s sales). In the mass channel, turmeric sales grew 118% to hit $15.8 million for 2015.

Study details

The researchers recruited 22 obese people to participate in their double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either the CurQfen supplement or placebo for 12 weeks. Subjects to continue their daily dietary habits without any exercises or physical activities to see the exact effect of curcumin on arterial stiffness.

The data showed that not all of the participants responded to the curcumin supplementation – responders were those with higher baseline the carotid-femoral Pulse Wave Velocity (cfPWV) values, while non-responders had normal baseline cfPWV values. Among the responders, curcumin induced almost 1 m/s relaxation in cfPWV. 

“The lack of a decrease in cfPWV in the non-responders is likely due to lower stiffness values associated with younger age,”​ wrote the researchers.

The change in brachial PP among the curcumin group is likely due to functional rather than structural changes occurring in the artery, as structural differences would have been expected to cause an overall change in cfPWV, they explained.

While no further significant differences were observed between curcumin and placebo groups, the researchers did note a trend of increase in the potent anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and IL-13 was also observed with curcumin intervention, versus baseline.

“Thus, the ability to reduce aortic stiffness in a young, obese population may slow the rate of progression and, therefore, delay and/or prevent future CV-related events later in life,” ​wrote the researchers.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Volume 29, Pages 154–160, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2016.12.013
“Responsiveness to curcumin intervention is associated with reduced aortic stiffness in young, obese men with higher initial stiffness”
Authors: M.S. Campbell et al, 

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