Background and aims: Consumption of repeatedly heated soy oil has been linked with incidence of atherosclerosis particularly in oestrogen deficient states. In the present study, effect of curcumin extract on the prevention of atherosclerosis was evaluated. Materials and Methods: Forty eight female Spraque-Dawley rats (weighing 200-250 gm) were divided into eight groups. All groups were fed with 2% cholesterol diet. The sham control groups consisted of vitamin E free-RBD Olein (IV62) that acted as vehicle, and curcumin treated groups without undergoing ovariectomy. The other six groups were subjected to ovariectomy and later treated with vehicle-only, curcumin-only, once heated soy oil (1HSO) with vehicle, 1HSO with curcumin, five times heated soy oil (5HSO) with vehicle and 5HSO with curcumin. Curcumin was administered orally at a dose of 50 mg/kg which was commenced two weeks following ovariectomy. Following four months, the rats were sacrificed and serial sections of arch of aorta were harvested and processed for electron microscopic studies (EM). Results: EM studies showed thickened tunica intima, fenestration of internal elastic lamina and migration of smooth muscle cells from tunica media to tunica intima in the ovariectomized control, 1HSO and 5HSO treated groups, with the latter being most prominent. There were no significant ultra structural changes in the curcumin-treated groups compared to the non-treated groups. Conclusion: Oral administration of curcumin at a dose of 50 mg/ kg body weight did not show any changes in the aorta of the ovariectomized rats fed with 2% cholesterol and heated soy oil.
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