Turmeric in Hypercholesterolemia

Have you ever heard of cholesterol? It’s likely a term you’re familiar with, but what does it really signify? Cholesterol serves both beneficial and detrimental roles in the body. While it’s vital for various bodily functions, an overabundance can pose significant health risks. Essentially, cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance found in cells, aiding in hormone production, synthesizing Vitamin D, and facilitating digestion. Nonetheless, excessive cholesterol levels can precipitate illness and potentially lead to severe health complications.

Hypercholesterolemia denotes a condition characterized by excessively high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Cholesterol travels in the blood bound to proteins, forming what’s termed “lipoproteins.”


Turmeric, originating from the turmeric plant in India, contains a compound known as “curcumin,” responsible for its characteristic yellow hue and commonly used in culinary and cosmetic applications. Notably, turmeric possesses properties that inhibit both cholesterol production in the liver and its absorption in the gut.

Research underscores the efficacy of turmeric in various health aspects. Studies from the 1990s onwards have highlighted its cardiovascular benefits, particularly in reducing LDL cholesterol levels. For instance, a study published in the “Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology” demonstrated significant reductions in oxidized LDL cholesterol levels (by 33%), total cholesterol (by 11%), and an increase in HDL (by 29%) in healthy volunteers consuming 500 mg of curcumin daily for seven days.

Further investigations, such as experiments on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, have shown promising results with a curcumin-rich diet significantly lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels over an eight-week period. This suggests a potential role for curcumin in mitigating the progression of atherosclerosis, the hardening of arteries due to plaque buildup.

The benefits of curcumin extend beyond cholesterol management, encompassing inflammation reduction, oxidative damage mitigation, and aiding in the clearance of LDL cholesterol by the liver while impeding intestinal absorption. However, it’s imperative to recognize other contributing factors to high cholesterol, including dietary habits rich in cholesterol, saturated and trans fats, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, genetic predispositions like familial hypercholesterolemia, and medical conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism.

Problems one can face due to hypercholesterolemia

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Angina
  • High blood pressure
  • Peripheral Vascular disease
  • Chronic Kidney Disease


The use of turmeric to lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent arterial blockage in individuals with hypercholesterolemia is an emerging area of research. While some studies have been conducted on this topic, further investigation is warranted. Most of the existing research has been conducted on animals, revealing turmeric’s potential impact on reducing total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Moreover, studies have indicated that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, possesses anti-inflammatory properties and reduces oxidative damage, thereby aiding in the prevention of heart attacks and slowing the progression of atherosclerosis.

Although research on humans consuming turmeric to lower high cholesterol levels is ongoing, it remains incomplete. There is significant scope for additional studies in this area to explore the numerous potential benefits of turmeric further. More extensive human trials are needed to provide comprehensive insights into its efficacy and safety profile.