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Spice Up Your Lipids: The Effects of Curcumin on Lipids in Humans

Curcumin has been lauded for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties in various research studies, but its effects on cholesterol levels are not as well-understood. This review paper aims to consolidate the findings from three recent investigations on curcumin's reputed hypolipidemic effect in humans by Pungcharoenkul, Alwi, and Baum. No consistent effect was noted in healthy subjects receiving a 500mg or 6,000mg daily dose of curcumin, in patients with acute coronary syndrome receiving a daily supplementation of 45-180mg curcumin, or in subjects with cognitive decline given 1,000mg or 4,000mg curcumin per day, as compared with controls. Two earlier studies generated enthusiasm regarding curcumin's ability to lower apo B/apo A ratio, serum cholesterol, and lipid peroxides in healthy humans, but those were flawed and less rigorous trials. Pungcharoenkul showed that daily curcumin dosages of 500mg and 6,000mg significantly decreased subjects' cholesterol levels, but this hypolipidemic effect was not noted across the different populations and dosages in the other two recent studies.