Objective: Curcumin is a naturally occurring polyphenol derived from tumeric that has
been reported to have anti-inflammatory properties with effects on adipokine and ghrelin levels.
Adiponectin, leptin and ghrelin modulate energy homeostasis but each has modulatory effects on
inflammatory cytokines and the immune system. Therefore, this analysis was performed to investigate
the effect of curcumin on adiponectin, leptin and ghrelin.
Method: A double blind randomised control trial comparing curcumin 1000mg with 10mg of piperine
daily to placebo over a 12 week period. 118 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited out of
which 50 control and 50 active subjects completed the trial. Adiponectin, leptin, ghrelin and tumor
necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured at baseline and 12 weeks.
Results: Between group comparison of the magnitude of changes showed serum levels of leptin
(p<0.001), TNF-α (p<0.001) and leptin:adiponectin ratio (p<0.001) to be significantly reduced
while serum adiponectin levels were elevated in the curcuminoids versus placebo group (p=0.032).
Changes in serum ghrelin levels did not differ between the study groups (p=0.135).
Conclusion: Curcumin supplementation increased adiponectin, whilst the the leptin:adiponectin
ratio (a measure of atherosclerosis) and leptin levels were decreased independent of weight change
and reflected a decrease in the inflammatory TNF-α levels.