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Curcumin May Lower Bad Cholesterol, Boost Good Cholesterol in People With Metabolic Syndrome

High levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides are two of the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. A recent study suggests that taking daily supplements of curcumin may help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels while simultaneously boosting HDL or “good” cholesterol in people with metabolic syndrome.

Participants in the study included 65 people with metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is the group of risk factors that contribute to coronary artery disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. The risk factors include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and high cholesterol.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the participants took either 630 mg of curcumin or a placebo three times per day, for a total of 1890 mg daily. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted increases in HDL cholesterol levels from 41 mg/dL to 43 mg/dL in the curcumin group. They also noted decreases in LDL cholesterol levels from 121 to 107 mg/dL. Finally, there was a reduction in triglycerides by an average of 65 mg/dL.

Researchers from Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan conducted the study. It was published in the December 2014 issue of Phytotherapy Research.

Curcumin has been used in folk remedies for years to ease menstrual cramping, help heal wounds, and to improve the appearance of skin. Recent studies have suggested that it may also protect against prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and arthritis. All of these benefits are attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin.

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