Turmeric may help prevent diabetes, obesity

June 21st, 2008 - 12:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 21 (ANI): Turmeric, a common Indian cooking spice may play a vital role in combating diabetes and obesity, according to a new study.

Researchers from Columbia University Medical Centre have found that curcumin, the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant ingredient in turmeric can significantly reduce insulin resistance and prevent Type 2 diabetes. The component also reduced inflammation in fat tissue.

In the study using a mouse model, lead researcher Drew Tortoriello, an endocrinologist and research scientist at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Centre found that turmeric-treated mice were less susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, the turmeric-fed obese mice exhibited reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver compared to controls.

They speculate that curcumin lessens insulin resistance and prevents Type 2 diabetes in these mouse models by dampening the inflammatory response provoked by obesity.

Curcumin administration was also associated with a small but significant decline in body weight and fat content, despite level or higher calorie consumption, suggesting that curcumin beneficially influences body composition.

“It’s too early to tell whether increasing dietary curcumin [through turmeric] intake in obese people with diabetes will show a similar benefit,” Dr. Tortoriello said.

“Although the daily intake of curcumin one might have to consume as a primary diabetes treatment is likely impractical, it is entirely possible that lower dosages of curcumin could nicely complement our traditional therapies as a natural and safe treatment,” he added.

Dr. Tortoriello conclude that turmeric reverses many of the inflammatory and metabolic problems associated with obesity and improves blood-sugar control in mouse models of Type 2 diabetes.

The study was presented at at ENDO 2008, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco this week. (ANI)

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