Natural Antioxidants for Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Molecular Targets and Clinical Perspectives

Federico Salomone; Justyna Godos; Shira Zelber-Sagi


Liver International. 2016;36(1):5-20. 

In This Article


Curcumin is the polyphenol responsible for the yellow colour of the plant turmeric (Curcuma Longa) that is contained in curry, a widely used spice.[93] Curcumin has been extensively studied for its antioxidant properties and has been shown to exert positive effects on liver metabolism.[94] Curcumin has been also studied for its effects on NASH and related metabolic disturbances both in vitro and animal models. Leclercq IA et al. first described in the methionine-choline deficient diet model that curcumin is able to improve liver injury by inhibiting NFkB activation and downstream induction of ICAM-1, COX-2 and MCP-1.[95] These findings were extended later by Vizzuti et al., which showed that curcumin reduces the levels of α-SMA in the liver of mice with experimental NASH and decreases the production of reactive oxygen species and the secretion of TIMP-1 in activated hepatic stellate cells.[96] The inhibitory effect of curcumin on HSC activation is depending on blocking of NFkB and ERK signalling[97] and inducing of PPAR-γ.[98] Although, several dietary supplements containing curcumin are commercially available; it should be underlined that no sufficient clinical evidence can be obtained from case-reports and case-series, thus well-designed clinical trials are needed to assess the effects of curcumin in patients with NAFLD.