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Curcuma longa Extract Supplementation Reduces Oxidative Stress and Attenuates Aortic Fatty Streak Development in Rabbits

Objective: This study evaluates the effect of a Curcuma longa extract on the development of experimental atherosclerosis (fatty streak) in rabbits and its interaction with other plasmatic antioxidants.

Methods and Results: Two experimental groups of male New Zealand White rabbits, a control group and a curcuma-extract (CU) group, were fed an atherogenic diet. Additionally, the CU group received an oral curcuma hydroalcoholic extract. Six animals from each experimental group were killed after 10, 20, and 30 days. Compared with the CU group, the control group showed significantly higher plasma lipid peroxide at all experimental times (10, 20, and 30 days) and significantly lower α-tocopherol and coenzyme Q levels at 20 and 30 days. Histological results for the fatty streak lesions revealed damage in the thoracic and abdominal aorta that was significantly lower in the CU group than in the control group at 30 days.

Conclusions: Supplementation with Curcuma longa reduces oxidative stress and attenuates the development of fatty streaks in rabbits fed a high cholesterol diet. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002;22:1225-1231.)