Can Curcumin Prevent Diabetes?
Can you prevent diabetes? There has recently been further research which supports the health benefits of curcurmin (the active component of turmeric). This study looked at the effectiveness of curcurmin in the prevention of diabetes.
The trial was conducted at Srinakharinwirot University in Nakornnayok in Thailand, involved 240 adults with pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a state in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic. Pre-diabetes can cause damage to the heart and circulatory system.
The participants were divided into two groups. One group was given a daily dose of 250mg curcurmin in a capsule form and the other group was given a placebo capsule. The trial was conducted for nine months, after which it was found that 19 of the 116 placebo group developed type- 2 diabetes, whilst none of the 199 treatment group developed the illness.
The researchers said, “Because of its benefits and safety, we propose that curcumin extract may be used for an intervention therapy for the pre-diabetes population.”
“This looks promising, but there are still a lot of questions,” said Constance Brown-Riggs, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
There is perceived concern that people will ignore dietary advice and simply go for a magic pill (in this case curcurmin). This is not what the study suggests, and a better way to incorporate curcurmin in the diet is by eating more dishes which contain turmeric. Turmeric is a staple ingredient in many Asian dishes, and it can also be taken in a glass of warm water.
Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and it this action that may explain why it has shown promise in the prevention of diabetes. The researchers suggested that the curcurmin may protect the beta cells, in the pancreas, (that produce insulin) from damage.