How Turmeric and Hawthorn Work Together to Lower Cholesterol in Obesity

Jim Crocker
29th May, 2024

How Turmeric and Hawthorn Work Together to Lower Cholesterol in Obesity

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Anhui Agricultural University, China, explored the effects of turmeric and hawthorn on obese mice
  • Mice fed a high-fat diet and given turmeric and hawthorn showed significant reductions in bad cholesterol and liver enzymes
  • The combination of turmeric and hawthorn improved lipid metabolism and liver function more effectively than either compound alone
Obesity and its associated complications, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), are significant public health concerns globally. Recent research conducted by Anhui Agricultural University, China, has explored the hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering) effects of combining turmeric and hawthorn on obese mice, providing insights into potential therapeutic approaches for managing obesity-related conditions[1]. The study involved feeding C57BL/6 mice a high-fat diet (HFD) for eight weeks to induce obesity. After confirming the success of the obesity model, the mice were divided into different groups: a model group (HFD), a positive control group (HFD + simvastatin), a turmeric group (HFD + TUR), a hawthorn group (HFD + HAW), and a para-medicine group (HFD + turmeric and hawthorn). Over four weeks, the different interventions were administered via gavage (oral feeding). The results demonstrated that all intervention groups had some lipid-lowering effects. However, the para-medicine group, which received both turmeric and hawthorn, showed the most significant improvements. This group exhibited substantial reductions in serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and liver enzymes (ALT and AST), while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The study also observed significant downregulation of proteins involved in lipid metabolism, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), fatty acid synthase (FAS), platelet-reactive protein receptor 36 (CD36), and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα). Furthermore, there was an upregulation of carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1 (CPT1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα). This study builds on previous findings that highlight the role of diet and natural compounds in managing metabolic disorders. For instance, NAFLD, characterized by the abnormal accumulation of triglycerides in the liver, is strongly influenced by dietary patterns. High-fat diets contribute to the progression of NAFLD, while dietary interventions such as the Mediterranean diet have been shown to be effective in its prevention and treatment[2]. The combination of turmeric and hawthorn could represent a similar dietary approach to managing lipid metabolism and preventing liver-related complications. Turmeric, specifically its active component curcumin, has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which are beneficial in managing T2DM and its complications. Curcumin has been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and improve lipid profiles in both human and animal studies[3]. The current study's findings that turmeric, especially when combined with hawthorn, can significantly improve lipid metabolism further support curcumin's therapeutic potential. Additionally, the study's results are relevant in the context of managing physical health outcomes in individuals with severe mental illness, who are at higher risk for metabolic disorders due to factors such as psychotropic medication use. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers have been linked to increased risks of obesity, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus[4]. Natural compounds like turmeric and hawthorn could offer complementary therapeutic options to mitigate these risks. The potential for phytotherapy, which involves the use of plant-derived compounds, to address multifactorial diseases is underscored by the study. Phytotherapeutics often exhibit pharmacological effects through the synergistic action of multiple constituents, targeting various pathways involved in disease processes[5]. The combined effects of turmeric and hawthorn in enhancing lipid metabolism and protecting liver function in obese mice exemplify this synergistic approach. In conclusion, the study conducted by Anhui Agricultural University provides promising evidence that the combination of turmeric and hawthorn can significantly improve lipid metabolism and liver function in obese mice. These findings support the potential development of medicinal food products and related weight loss interventions that leverage the therapeutic properties of natural compounds. Further research, including clinical trials, is warranted to fully understand the mechanisms and efficacy of such combinations in human populations.



Main Study

1) Investigation on the lipid-lowering effect and mechanism by combining turmeric with hawthorn in C57BL/6 obese mice.

Published 28th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) The impact of health status, diet and lifestyle on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Narrative review.

3) Effects of curcumin, a bioactive component of turmeric, on type 2 diabetes mellitus and its complications: an updated review.

4) Effects of antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers on risk for physical diseases in people with schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder.

5) Complex interactions between phytochemicals. The multi-target therapeutic concept of phytotherapy.

Journal: Current drug targets, Issue: Vol 12, Issue 1, Jan 2011

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