Turmeric Improves Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes
If you're looking for a natural way to help control your blood sugar levels, think spicy. A new study from Chinese researchers found that daily supplementation with compounds found in the spice turmeric can improve blood sugar levels in people who have type 2 diabetes.
Turmeric has several important components
Curcumin, a major component of turmeric, is usually the ingredient people most associated with providing health benefits. In fact, curcumin has been the subject of scores of studies suggesting it can be helpful in fatty liver disease, Alzheimer's disease, tendinitis, and Rift Valley Fever virus, among other conditions.
In this newest study, researchers from Harbin Medical University and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention evaluated the ability of curcuminoids to reduce levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) in patients with type 2 diabetes. Curcuminoids is the general term for curcumin and its extracts, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin.
Free fatty acids have an important role in the development of insulin resistance. Therefore, if individuals can lower their FFA levels, they hopefully will also reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes or better manage the disease should they already have it.
The 100 patients in the study were given either 300 mg per day of curcuminoids or placebo for three months. At the end of three months, the patients in the curcuminoid group, when compared with those in the placebo group, experienced a significant decline in
- Blood glucose levels
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Insulin resistance
- Free fatty acids
The authors of the study noted that "this is the first study to show that curcuminoids may have an anti-diabetic effect by decreasing serum fatty acid possibly through the promotion of fatty acid oxidation and utilization."
Other natural ways to treat diabetes
This new study is not the first time turmeric and curcumin have been noted to benefit people with diabetes. In fact, a recent study published in Diabetes Care reported that curcumin may help prevent the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.