Curcumin improves the effect of a reduced insulin dose on glycemic control and oxidative stress in streptozotocin-diabetic rats
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Insulin with natural antioxidants is emerging as a combination treatment for diabetes mellitus that attempts to exert effective glycemic control without adverse effects. The present study aimed to investigate the additive effects on metabolic disturbances, oxidative damage, and antioxidant defenses in streptozotocin-diabetic rats treated with curcumin and a reduced insulin dose. The best results were obtained in the treatment of diabetic rats with 4-U/day insulin; however, the glycemia levels in these rats were lower than those in normal rats, indicating a risk of hypoglycemia. Isolated treatments using curcumin or insulin in a reduced dose (1 U/day) decreased glycemia, dyslipidemia, and biomarkers of liver and kidney damage and increased the activity of hepatic antioxidants (superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase), however, only to a lesser extent than 4-U/day insulin, without improvements in catalase activity or plasma lipid peroxidation. Decreases in glycemia, dyslipidemia, and tissue damage markers were more evident in the curcumin + 1-U/day insulin treatment than those seen in isolated treatments. The activity of hepatic antioxidants, including catalase, was further increased, and biomarkers of oxidative damage were decreased. Curcumin with a reduced insulin dose appears to be a promising strategy for combating the complications associated with diabetes and oxidative stress.
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