The combined effect of curcumin and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on liver injury has not yet been reported. We determined the synergistic effect of curcumin and DHA on the protection of WRL-68 cells from palmitic acid-induced injury, and on the inhibition of LX2 cells. A microemulsion to co-deliver both compounds was prepared by ultrasonic emulsification. Mice were fed a high-fat diet for 10 weeks to induce mild non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). At a dose of 5 mg/kg curcumin and 30 mg/kg DHA, the microemulsion successfully lowered serum triacylglycerol (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and significantly attenuated NAFLD. A pharmacokinetic study in rats showed that the microemulsion had a higher Cmax value for curcumin, a greater AUC0-24 value and a longer t1/2 value for both curcumin and DHA. This investigation provides a novel application of a combination of functional food ingredients to treat chronic liver disease. All...

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