Diabetes Study: Spice More Effective Treatment Than Drug

A recent study published by Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications found that curcumin, a component of the popular East Asian spice turmeric, is 400 times more powerful than the common diabetes drug, metformin, in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to reverse Type 2 diabetes.

Turmeric has been used as a spice in curry for centuries and recently has been touted for its extraordinary health benefits. To date there have been over 6,000 peer-reviewed research studies published proving the benefits of turmeric and specifically curcumin, one of turmeric’s highly regarded healing compounds.

Out of the thousands of studies, one of the most interesting findings is that when turmeric is compared to pharmaceutical medications, the benefits are often equal or better without dangerous side effects.

“This is outstanding and simply builds upon the growing awareness and enthusiasm around turmeric and its healing properties,” Dr. Ajay Goel, Ph.D, director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Research at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX., tells Newsmax Health.

"Most folks are aware that turmeric and curcumin have potent anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. However, the recognition that it is also superior to modern medications used to treat diabetes is icing on the cake.

"Diabetes is such a common ailment in many parts of the world, and having a potential natural solution to this indication is definitely very exciting," he said.

The study on turmeric and diabetes found that the spice also helped lower blood sugar levels and was able to reverse many issues related to decreased insulin sensitivity such as loss of sight. The loss of sight caused by diabetes is due to damaged blood vessels but this may be delayed by supplementing with curcumin, researchers showed.

"The diabetes epidemic, if left unabated, will eventually affect one third of Americans" Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of Real Cause, Real Cure and one of the world’s most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities tells Newsmax Health. "Most medications for adult diabetes eventually turn out to cause more harm than good.

"Natural remedies, however, can be very effective," he continued. "A large number of studies have shown that curcumin can be very helpful at decreasing blood sugar as well as the complications of diabetes."

Other studies have shown its effectiveness in treating other aspects of diabetes, both in Type 1 and Type 2 according to the website, Diabetes Self Management. David Spero, R.N. says that research done by Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and McGill University showed that curcumin reduced both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

In addition:

*Curcumin suppressed the activities of white blood cells called macrophages that cause inflammation as well as slowed down many of the complications of diabetes, in which inflammation plays a role.

*Curcumin improved insulin function by helping the hormone get into the cells thus reducing insulin resistance.

*In a study of 240 people in Thailand, curcumin prevented prediabetes from developing into full blown diabetes. Roughly 16 percent of the people studied in the placebo group progressed to Type 2 diabetes within 9 months while nobody in the group receiving 250 milligrams of curcuminoids from supplements progressed.

*Curcumin also protects beta cells, which produce insulin. Studies have found that beta cells grew faster and lived longer in rats who consumed curcumin.