Curcumin May Improve Adipocyte Health, Adiponectin Metabolism

Curcumin herbal supplement capsules and turmeric powder in bowl
Curcumin herbal supplement capsules and turmeric powder in bowl
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis to explore curcumin’s potential effect on serum adiponectin levels.

Curcumin supplementation moderately increases circulating adiponectin, which could have beneficial effects on pathways related to adipocyte health and adiponectin metabolism, according to study results published in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome.

The therapeutic benefits of curcumin, a bioactive yellow-orange pigment found in turmeric, have been shown in metabolic diseases. Researchers in this study were interested in the chemical’s potential effect on adiponectin, which has an inverse relationship with conditions such as insulin resistance, obesity, and atherosclerotic disease.

A meta-analysis was conducted using studies sourced from PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Google scholar databases up to April 2019. The researchers selected randomized controlled trials that studied the effects of curcumin on serum adiponectin concentrations in human adults. Weighted mean differences and standard deviations of change in serum adiponectin levels were calculated.

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Screening resulted in 6 trials with a total of 652 patients (322 who received curcumin treatment; 330 who received placebo). The pooled effect sizes showed that curcumin supplementation significantly increased adiponectin concentrations vs placebo (weighted mean difference: 0.82 Hedges’ g; 95% CI, 0.33-1.30; P <.001), However, there was significant heterogeneity among the studies, which may have been explained by study duration; greater effects of curcumin on adiponectin were observed only in trials lasting ≤10 weeks (weighted mean difference: 1.05 Hedges’ g; 95% CI, 0.64-1.45; P <.001).

The study was limited by the small size of eligible studies and corresponding sample, highlighting the need for future trials.


Clark CCT, Ghaedi E, Arab A, Pourmasoumi M, Hadi A. The effect of curcumin supplementation on circulating adiponectin: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2019;13(5):2819-2825.