Curcumin and Weight Loss: Does It Work?
Obesity is a global health problem needing urgent research. Synthetic anti-obesity drugs show side effects and variable effectiveness. Thus, there is a tendency to use natural compounds for the management of obesity. There is a considerable body of knowledge, supported by rigorous experimental data, that natural polyphenols, including curcumin, can be an effective and safer alternative for managing obesity. Curcumin is a is an important compound present in Curcuma longa L. rhizome. It is a lipophilic molecule that rapidly permeates cell membrane. Curcumin has been used as a pharmacological traditional medicinal agent in Ayurvedic medicine for ∼6000 years. This plant metabolite doubtless effectiveness has been reported through increasingly detailed in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials. Regarding its biological effects, multiple health-promoting, disease-preventing and even treatment attributes have been remarkably highlighted. This review documents the status of research on anti-obesity mechanisms and evaluates the effectiveness of curcumin for management of obesity. It summarizes different mechanisms of anti-obesity action, associated with the enzymes, energy expenditure, adipocyte differentiation, lipid metabolism, gut microbiota and anti-inflammatory potential of curcumin. However, there is still a need for systematic and targeted clinical studies before curcumin can be used as the mainstream therapy for managing obesity.
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 7;23(2):639. doi: 10.3390/ijms23020639. PMID: 35054828; PMCID: PMC8775659.