Curcumin and arterial function in health and disease: impact on oxidative stress and inflammation

Bradley S Fleenor, Nicholas A Carlini, Marilyn S Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to provide a concise overview of the polyphenol curcumin for improving arterial health, specifically endothelial function and arterial stiffness, to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and to highlight potential mechanisms of action by which curcumin may improve artery function.

RECENT FINDINGS: The primary findings of this review support the notion for curcumin to improve arterial health both with aging and obesity. There are few clinical trials on curcumin, and those that currently exist are small in scale but provide evidence for curcumin to improve endothelial function in older adults and reduce arterial stiffness in young, obese men. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin appear to be important targets of curcumin that are related to improved arterial health. Mechanistic studies have revealed superoxide dismutase, heme oxygenase-1 and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 as emerging targets for the beneficial effects of curcumin on the vasculature.

SUMMARY: In summary, the efficacy of curcumin for improving arterial function is promising in the limited number of clinical studies performed to date. Still, much investigation is needed to elucidate the effectiveness of curcumin for improving arterial health to lower CVD risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-464
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Arteries/drug effects
  • Curcumin
  • Humans
  • Inflammation/drug therapy
  • Oxidative Stress/drug effects
  • Vascular Diseases/drug therapy
  • Vascular Stiffness/drug effects


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