Efficacy of Curcumin in the Modulation of Anxiety Provoked by Sulfite, a Food Preservative, in Rats

  • Noorafshan, Ali ;
  • Vafabin, Masoud ;
  • Karbalay-Doust, Saied ;
  • Asadi-Golshan, Reza
  • Received : 2016.12.22
  • Accepted : 2017.03.13
  • Published : 2017.06.30


Sulfites are used as food preservatives and excessive sulfite might disturb the body systems including the brain. Curcumin shows protective effects on the nervous system toxicity. The present study aimed to evaluate the protective role of curcumin in sulfite-induced anxiety in rats. Male rats were divided into five groups. The rats in groups I to V received distilled water (vehicle of sulfite, 1 mL/d), olive oil (vehicle of curcumin, 1 mL/d), curcumin (100 mg/kg/d), sulfite (25 mg/kg/d), and sulfite+curcumin, respectively, by daily gastric gavage for 8 weeks. At the end of 8 weeks the rats were tested in the elevated plus-maze for anxiety. The results showed that concomitant treatment of curcumin during sulfite consumption prevented the reduction of the time spent in the open arm and entrance to the open arm (the indexes of anxiety). Besides, an increase was found in motor activity of the rats in the sulfite+curcumin group compared to the sulfite-treated animals. Exposure of sulfite in rats can induce anxiety, and curcumin can act as an anti-anxiety agent.


anxiety;elevated plus-maze;curcumin;sulfite


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Supported by : Shiraz University of Medical Sciences