Abstract Title:

Effects of capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and curcumin on copper-induced oxidation of human serum lipids.

Abstract Source:

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Aug 23;54(17):6436-9. PMID: 16910741

Abstract Author(s):

Kiran D K Ahuja, Dale A Kunde, Madeleine J Ball, Dominic P Geraghty

Article Affiliation:

School of Human Life Sciences, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1320, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia.


The oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is believed to be the initiating factor for the development and progression of atherosclerosis. The active ingredients of spices such as chili and turmeric (capsaicin and curcumin, respectively) have been shown to reduce the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation. One of the techniques used to study the oxidation of LDL is to isolate LDL and subject it to metal-induced (copper or iron) oxidation. However, whole serum may represent a closer situation to in vivo conditions than using isolated LDL. We investigated the effects of different concentrations (0.1-3 microM) of capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and curcumin on copper-induced oxidation of serum lipoproteins. The lag time (before initiation of oxidation) and rate of oxidation (slope of propagation phase) were calculated. The lag time increased, and the rate of oxidation decreased with increasing concentrations of the tested antioxidants (p<0.05). A 50% increase in lag time (from control) was observed at concentrations between 0.5 and 0.7 microM for capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and curcumin. This study shows that oxidation of serum lipids is reduced by capsaicinoids and curcumin in a concentration-dependent manner.

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