Can Curcumin Treat Diabetes?
In a 2012 study entitled 'Curcumin Extract for Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes', scientists investigated whether it was possible to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus in prediabetic individuals. The study used 240 volunteers whose only criteria was that they were prediabetic. The study was randomised, double blind and placebo controlled. This means that the participants in the study didn't know if they were taking a placebo or the Curcumin extract and the researchers in the study also didn't know who was receiving the extract. The participants were randomly allocated to either the Curcumin group or the placebo group.
The study took 9 months to complete and to measure any possible effects of Curcumin on type 2 diabetes mellitus, the participants had measurements of β-cell functions, insulin resistance and anti-inflammatory cytokine taken at 3, 6 and 9 months.
At the end of the study in the ninth month, the results showed that 16.4% of subjects in the placebo group had developed type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, 0% (Zero) of the Curcumin extract group showed any signs of type 2 diabetes mellitus and in fact the Curcumin group showed better β-cell functions amongst other measures. The researchers concluded "that the curcumin intervention in a prediabetic population may be beneficial".
Another study undertook in 2008 entitled 'Dietary Curcumin Significantly Improves Obesity-Associated Inflammation and Diabetes in Mouse Models of Diabesity' gave further credence to Curcumin being beneficial in the treatment of Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity are interrelated in that obesity is itself a risk factor for diabetes. The premise of the study was that both diabetes and obesity have underlying inflammatory components and therefore a substance such as Curcumin which is a well known anti-inflammatory may well exert a positive effect.
The mice in the study were fed Curcumin C3 Complex and the results showed that Curcumin improved insulin sensitivity and also had a beneficial effect in regard to weight and body composition.