Effects of curcumin on serum cytokine concentrations in subjects with metabolic syndrome: A post - hoc analysis of a randomized controlled trial


Biomed Pharmacother. 2016;82:578–82


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition associated with occurrence of hypertension, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in subjects with obesity. In fact, obesity was proposed as principal feature associated with MetS and is also linked with a chronic low grade inflammation resulting from hypertrophied adipocytes, infiltrating macrophages and lymphocytes causing release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn generates systemic inflammation or “metabolic inflammation”.

The main bioactive polyphenolic pigment of turmeric i.e. Curcumin, has shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-tumor effects. Curcumin has been widely studied for these activities; however limited literature is available on its effect on Mets individuals. The purpose of this post-hoc study was evaluation of effects of Curcumin C3 Complex® on the concentration of serum cytokines in MetS subjects.


To evaluate the effect of supplementation with Curcumin C3 Complex® on concentration of serum cytokines in subjects with MetS.


Study Design:

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group design trial, 117 subjects who were diagnosed with MetS as per National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP-III) guidelines, were recruited by Baqiyatallah Hospital (Tehran, Iran). The subjects were randomized for 8 weeks either to take intervention (500 mg of Curcumin C3 Complex® with 5 mg BioPerine® capsules, n=59), as a daily dose or placebo ( Lactose with 5 mg of Piperine, n=58). The blood samples were collected after overnight fasting both at the beginning and at the end of the study.



  • The study results of within group analysis indicated that Curcumin C3 Complex® supplementation resulted in significant reduction in serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6, TGF-β and MCP-1 (p<0.001). In case of placebo group, serum levels of IL-6, TNF-α and MCP-1 remained unaltered, however, TGF-β was decreased (p=0.003).
  • The results of between group analysis, showed that Intervention group (Curcumin C3 Complex® and BioPerine® had significantly greater reduction in serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6, TGF-β and MCP-1.
  • The Curcumin C3 Complex® supplementation was found to be safe and well tolerated and no drop outs from the trial owing to any adverse effects were reported.
  • The authors of the study suggested to further investigate correlation with changes in inflammatory parameters, changes in body weight and BMI as well as dose-response association of anti-inflammatory activity of Curcuminoids.



The study results showed Curcumin C3 Complex® as an effective supplement for MetS subjects. Furthermore, the current study has shown that Curcumin C3 Complex® supplementation resulted in significant decrease in serum cytokine concentrations in subjects with MetS.

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