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Turmeric for Diabetes - Does It Really Help?

Discover if using turmeric for diabetes helps to lower blood sugar levels

turmeric for weight lossMany researchers are actively engaged in finding out if curcumin can be effectively used to treat diabetes.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient found in the spice turmeric. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

In our body, inflammation is the starting point of many disease states such as arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Experts have long suspected that the development of type 2 diabetes is, in part, due to a chronic inflammatory process in the pancreas.

The condition eventually damages the pancreas, making it unable to make insulin. We won't talk about type 2 diabetes here as it is fully covered in our article Type 2 Diabetes.

Read on to find out how turmeric might work to help with diabetes...

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Research studies in using turmeric for diabetes

Many animal studies and some human clinical trials suggest that curcumin has the potential to regulate blood sugar levels.

Let's look at three specific studies and see the discoveries on the health benefits of turmeric for managing diabetes and lowering blood sugar levels.


Study #1

New mechanisms and the anti-inflammatory role of curcumin in obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases.
Shehzad A, Ha T, Subhan F, Lee YS.
Eur J Nutr. 2011 Mar 27.

In this Korean study, the researchers revealed that there are many studies to show that curcumin has a positive effects on many processes in the body.

It has proven anti-inflammatory effects. It also regulates the function of cells of the pancreas, liver, fat tissue and the muscles. It seems to play a significant role in obesity related disease such as diabetes.

These group of researchers believe that curcumin is low cost, safe and proven effective as a part of a healthy diet.

It should be considered for the treatment and prevention of obesity-related health problem like diabetes.


Study #2

The antihyperglycemic effect of curcumin in high fat diet fed rats. Role of TNF-a and free fatty acids.
El-Moselhy MA, Taye A, Sharkawi SS, El-Sisi SF, Ahmed AF.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Feb 15.

Rats that were induced with diabetes were used in this study. The researchers compared using curcumin, rosiglitazone (Avandia), both and control (nothing was used).

The results showed that curcumin improved insulin sensitivity, lowered blood glucose levels and lowered fatty acids in the blood.

The authors concluded that curcumin seems to work like the prescription anti-diabetic drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) and suggested that it could be used in type 2 diabetics in combination with other treatment options.


Study #3

Effects of Curcuma longa (turmeric) on postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in healthy subjects. Wickenberg J, Ingemansson SL, Hlebowicz J.
Nutr J. 2010 Oct 12;9:43.

This Swedish placebo-controlled study looked at the blood lowering effects of turmeric in 14 healthy human volunteers. They were given either a capsule with turmeric or a matching placebo ("sugar pill").

By taking a single 6 gram dose of turmeric, the volunteers did not experience any changes in their blood sugar levels.

But, it did cause a significant increase in insulin production!

This is how many prescription diabetic drugs work to boost insulin production.

This study clearly showed that turmeric has a similar effect like prescription anti-diabetic drugs. It also validates the observation seen in the study #2 discussed above.


Recommended dose of turmeric for diabetes treatment?

There is no studies done in human volunteers to show what an effective dose of turmeric would be for lowering high blood sugar levels. In study #3 discussed above, volunteers were given a single dose of 6 grams.

Experts typically recommend using 500 mg three or four times daily.

This dose is a good starting point. Since you can monitor your blood sugar levels with a blood sugar monitor quite easily, you can track the changes in blood sugar levels over several weeks.

If you see significant changes, discuss these results with your health care professional. It is important not to make changes to any of your diabetes medications without first letting your doctor know.

Bottom Line?

Should I use turmeric for diabetes management? Probably.

Both animal and human studies clearly show that turmeric has a positive effect on insulin production.

It is low in cost, safe to use and can be combined with your existing prescription medications for diabetes.

There are many other natural remedies for type 2 diabetes that you should consider as well.

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Related to Turmeric for Diabetes

The Full Review - The Health Benefits of Turmeric



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