Log In
Thursday 19th September 2019

Curry spice helps pre-diabetes

31st July 2012

Researchers in Thailand say that patients with type 2 diabetes could benefit from taking supplements containing a compound found in curry spice.


Curcumin, a compound in the spice turmeric, may help prevent diabetes in people who have pre-diabetes, according to the research, which was published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Researchers led by Somlak Chuengsamarn of Thailand's Srinakharinwirot University studied the effects of a daily dose of curcumin in people on the verge of getting diabetes, over a nine-month period.

Previous studies have shown that curcumin may help the body to fight inflammation, as well as oxidation damage to tissues, both of which are factors in a number of diseases, including diabetes.

According to Somlak Chuengsamarn, curcumin extract is recommended as an intervention therapy in people with pre-diabetes, because of the benefits the team discovered, as well as its safety.

For the purposes of the study, 240 Thai adults with pre-diabetes were randomly assigned to take either six curcumin capsules containing 250 mg of curcuminoids daily, or a placebo.

They found that none of the patients taking curcumin developed type 2 diabetes over the nine-month study period, compared with 19 patients who developed it in the placebo group.

The researchers speculated that curcumin helps to protect from damage the cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin, which helps to regulate blood-sugar levels.

But some experts gave a cautious welcome to the study, saying it was too early to evaluate the results.

According to Constance Brown-Riggs, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, many questions remain, in spite of a promising initial result.

The trial lasted for a relatively short period, and previous, much larger studies have shown over longer time-frames that calorie-cutting and exercise can also prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes, she said.

She said that dietary supplements were vulnerable to fakery and mislabelling, and should be treated with caution by consumers, who could not always be sure what they were taking.

Pre-diabetes patients would do better to focus on maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, Brown-Riggs said.

Last month, researchers in the United States recommended a more aggressive approach to treating people who have pre-diabetes in an attempt to bring down the number of cases of fully developed type 2 diabetes.

The study, published in The Lancet, showed that people with blood-sugar levels just below levels that indicate diabetes would benefit from early intervention.

It found that if such people's blood sugar returned to normal, even temporarily, during this period, their chances of going on to develop full diabetes were lessened by around 50%.

Share this page


carol zhu

Wednesday 1st August 2012 @ 20:55

Some diabetes medications may be just as harmful, if not more, than the disease itself.


Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2019