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Effects of Curcumin on the intestinal length and morphology: An experimental study in albino rats

Anil Kumar, Abha Shrivastava, Brijesh Purwar, Neetu Arora.

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Aims: This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of curcumin on small intestinal length and morphology.
Materials and methods: Rats were divided into 5 groups (Group I - Group V), based on the time interval between administration of curcumin/vehicular fluid to the sacrifice of the rats (Group I – 1 hr, Group II – 8 hr, Group III – 16 hr, Group IV – 24 hr, Group V – 48 hr). Each group was further divided into two sub-groups, Group A (control) and Group B (experimental). Rats in Group A were given vehicular fluid (0.9% NaCl) while the rats in Group B were administered curcumin intragastrically by the naso-gastric tube reaching up to the lower 1/3rd of oesophagus, in the dose of 1 gm/kg body weight, suspended in normal saline.
Results: After the intra-gastric administration of single dose of curcumin, there was an increase in the small intestinal length in all the experimental groups as compared to control groups. Morphometric analysis showed that the numbers of mitotic figures were less in case of experimental group as compared to control groups. However no statistically significant differences in microscopic structure of duodenum, jejunum and ileum were observed between control and experimental groups.
Conclusion: These data suggests that curcumin reduces resting tone of intestine and this may be the reason for increase in length of intestine in albino rats. This may partly explain the traditional use of curcumin as antispasmodic agent.

Key words: Curcumin; resting tone; intestine length; morphology

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