A risk factor for diabetes and heart disease, Metabolic Syndrome is a condition involving a large waistline, high triglycerides level, low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar. The active ingredient in turmeric – the spice that lends curry its characteristic color, curcumin has been found by previous studies to exert antioxidant and anti-inflammation effects. Yi-Sun Yang, from Chung Shan Medical University Hospital (Taiwan), and colleagues enrolled 65 men and women with Metabolic Syndrome in a study in which subjects received 630 mg of curcumin 3 times a day, or placebo, for 12 weeks. The team observed significant increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL; “good”) cholesterol levels (rose from 41 to 43 mg/dL), while low-density lipoprotein (LDL; ‘bad”) cholesterol decreased (from 121 to 107 mg/dL). As well, triglycerides were reduced significantly. The study authors submit that: “Daily curcumin consumption may be an alternative choice to modify cholesterol-related parameters, especially in metabolic syndrome patients.”
Yi-Sun Yang, Ying-Fang Su, Hui-Wen Yang, Yu-Hsien Lee, Janet I. Chou, Kwo-Chang Ueng. “Lipid-Lowering Effects of Curcumin in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Phytotherapy Research, Volume 28, Issue 12, December 2014, Pages 1770–1777.