Can grandma’s remedy help reduce diabetes, obesity?

June 21st, 2008 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 21 (IANS) Can turmeric, used in Indian curries and grandma’s remedy for healing wounds and reducing inflammation, prevent diabetes? Since inflammation is believed to be involved in onset of both obesity and Type 2 diabetes, Drew Tortoriell of Columbia University Medical Centre and colleagues addressed this question.

Tortoriello, working with paediatric resident Stuart Weisberg and fellow endocrinologist Rudolph Leibel, discovered that turmeric-treated mice were less susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes, based on their blood glucose levels, among others.

They also discovered that turmeric-fed obese mice showed significantly reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver compared to controls.

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

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has no known dose-limiting toxicities in doses of up to at least 12 grams daily in humans. Researchers tested high-doses of a dietary curcumin in two distinct mouse models of obesity and Type 2 diabetes: high-fat-diet-fed male mice and leptin-deficient obese female mice, with lean wild-type mice that were fed low-fat diets used as controls.

Administration of curcumin 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.

Their finding is slated for publication in Endocrinology and were presented at ENDO 2008, the Endocrine Society’s recent annual meeting in San Francisco.

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