Turmeric and Diabetes Prevention and Treatment

Turmeric and Diabetes Prevention and Treatment

For over four thousand years and perhaps longer, turmeric has been used medicinally to treat everything from upset stomachs to osteoarthritis. Its active compound, curcumin, is thought to boast anti inflammatory, anticancer, anti nausea, and antibiotic properties. The spice is best known for giving yellow color to food and is used widely in Indian cuisine but also as a colorant and flavor additive. New studies are showing that there may also be a link between turmeric and diabetes treatment and prevention as well.

One way in which this might be evidenced interestingly enough has to do with turmeric and its interactions with diabetes medications. Persons who are taking some types of medicines used in the treatment of the disease are advised not to use turmeric for diabetes without consulting with a health care provider. This is because the spice may intensify or amplify the effects of the medications that they are using, making them more potent. In fact, the relationship between turmeric and diabetes becomes more interesting here in the case of drug interactions because turmeric may make medications stronger and this could result in an undesirably lowered level of glucose in the blood.

There are some theories as to how and why turmeric affects the levels of glucose in the blood. On one hand, turmeric is thought to reduce fat deposits in the arteries, which is linked to the eventual development of the condition in the first place. Secondly, turmeric and diabetes may also be linked due to anti diabetic properties related to a reduction in serum fatty acid as a result of purported utilization or oxidation or a combination of both. Although pretty technical in explanation, these possible mechanisms of action have resulted in numerous studies pointing to the relationship between turmeric and diabetes which have led to reductions in blood glucose levels as well as rate of insulin resistance.

There are some things to consider however, when understanding the use of turmeric and diabetes management or prevention. Unfortunately, while turmeric is widely used in cooking, unlike some other herbs that lower blood sugar, it may be more effective in capsule or supplement form. Incorporating the spice into a type 2 diabetes menu may have some benefits, however many researchers point out that studies pointing to the relationship between turmeric and diabetes have used injections of curcumin, the spice’s active ingredient, instead of edible forms of it. Essentially, eating more turmeric and adding it into a healthy diet may hold some benefit, but may not be as effective as other forms of administration.

Among other ways to take advantage of the spice is to try turmeric as one of the best supplements for diabetes. This is especially true in persons who have pre diabetes and are at an incredibly high risk of developing the fully developed disease. In one study alone conducted in Thailand, people who received best supplements for diabetes that were curcumin based over a period of nine months were able to delay the onset of or suppress the risk of type 2 diabetes altogether. These types of studies are why turmeric is rapidly becoming one of the best supplements for diabetes prevention and treatment, and one of the most widely used.

There are some concerns however to using natural diabetes treatment options in general. Although there is some evidence that there is a positive relationship between turmeric and diabetes, the spice can and does interfere with some medications that are used in people with the condition and therefore advice from a healthcare provider is required before using the spice medicinally. Turmeric also interacts negatively with medications that are used to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach as well as blood thinners.

Type 2 diabetes is a preventable condition that can be well managed in most people who commit to a healthy lifestyle including a reasonable diet and regular physical activity. There are many promising natural treatment options available, including herbs and spices that have been celebrated historically for potent medicinal benefits. In time, it’s likely that the relationship between turmeric and diabetes will be more fully explored and new options will become available to people at risk of developing or who have already developed the often life long condition. In the meantime, more studies are needed to determine the full range of use as well as the safety of use of the common, yellow spice.