ginger turmeric and pepper spices, cognitive ability, curcumin control

Most people experience a bump in blood sugar after they eat a meal containing carbohydrates. The body responds by secreting insulin to clear the blood sugar.  Australian researchers wanted to see whether the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, could influence this glycemic response. Will curcumin control the rise in blood sugar and insulin after a meal?

Does Curcumin Control Blood Sugar and Insulin After Eating?

In the study, 15 healthy adults took curcumin, fish oil, both or placebo just before eating breakfast (Scientific Reports, online Sep. 12, 2018). The test meal contained two pieces of white toast with peanut butter and chocolate milk.

When the volunteers took curcumin with breakfast, both their blood sugar and their insulin levels were lower afterwards than when they took placebo or fish oil with breakfast. Those who took the combination of curcumin and fish oil also had lower blood sugar and insulin levels after breakfast. Curcumin alone was most effective, however. The participants took 180 mg of Meriva curcumin (two 90-mg tablets).

These were healthy individuals, and we do not know whether curcumin would have the same effect on people with type 2 diabetes. A previous study suggests that a nano-curcumin supplement of 80 mg per day reduced HbA1c in people with diabetes (Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, Sep-Oct. 2016). HbA1c indicates average blood sugar over an extended period of time, perhaps several weeks. In conclusion, anyone who decides to experiment with curcumin control of blood sugar should keep careful records. They should also stay in touch with their health care providers.

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  1. Tony G.
    New zealand

    If anyone is concerned about cancer, stop eating sugar and minimise the consumption of simple carbohydrates.
    One of the main promotors of cancer is glucose, cancer cells live entirely on glucose. pH is another consideration, as cancer cells love an acidic condition. (ph of up to 7.4 is recommended) pH of seven is neutral under is acidic over 7 is alkaline.

  2. Bobbi T.

    Can you repost the article about the best sources of curcumin? It was a Consumer Reports article, and it seems to have been removed from this site.


  3. Brian
    Charlotte NC

    Where does fish oil come into all of this? I would not expect to see a glycemic effect from taking fish oil, and can only wonder why it was included to further complicate the interpretation of results.

    It seems that lately, there has been a “let’s attack fish oil” band wagon, in which we see an unwarranted comparison of a wide range of doses, preparations, times of administration, and target populations. I, for one, am continuing to eat my salmon, and consume several grams of a quality fish oil supplement per day, under my doctor’s guidance, and will continue to harbor my suspicion (as a professional, academic life scientist) of the value of so many poorly done meta-analysis “studies.”

    Things are becoming harder to understand, not easier, as even the editors of prominent medical journals start to question the value of the peer review as a standard which was once thought to assure quality. Please help us sort this out in terms of practical steps to take in working towards better health as we age.

  4. Michael E
    Santa Monica, CA

    I’m 76 and I’ve been taking Aspirin 81 for about one year. Normally for pain I would take acetaminophen because aspirin thins my skin. My doctor felt the side effect was worth enduring to secure the alleged benefits of Aspirin. Now I’ll send him this article and see what he thinks. Cancer concerns me more than any other disorder.

  5. Peggy
    Pinehurst, NC

    I started out taking 500 mg each morn and evening in 2016. Last 6 mos had increased to 1,000 mg in morn and 1,000 mg in evening. Deodorant quit working!! I asked all my friends what brand they used…nothing helped. Then I had a light bulb moment!

    Maybe too much Curcumin. Well….quit taking large dose and within 2 days problem was corrected. Also, order deodorant “MoM” from People’s Pharmacy which is excellent. Curcumin DOES work for joint pain.

    • Dennis Lee
      New Jersey

      Curcumin is a very potent blood sugar stabilizer, while at the same time is also a potent anti-inflammatory nutrient for those with painful arthritis joint condition; this is remarkably effective especially at higher dosing levels that may be needed to effect pain relief; in addition, Curcumin (especially the powdered curcumin extract) is also quite useful as a potent anti-inflammatory for reducing the arterial inflammation that is atypical of the chronic low level inflammation of ones endothelial lining; that results in one having excessively stiffened arterial walls that directly results in higher than average nominal blood pressure values; so Curcumin is truly effective for at least three quite common chronic long term conditions described above that one may be experiencing as one typically gets older; fortunately powdered extract Curcumin is only about $136 per 1,000g(1kg) on;

      Now, what I typically do is mix up a five day dosing bottle by mixing up five grams of powdered curcumin extract (half teaspoon curcumin is 1,200mg); I measure five half teaspoons of powdered curcumin into a 50 ounce clear transparent tropicana orange juice decanter with the wide mouth opening; then just add hot water to top off the orange juice decanter and then proceed to screw on the lid tightly and shake everything inside vigorously inside for about two minutes;

      I just simply decant and pour exactly ten ounces of the mixture from the orange juice decanter into my two quart double stainless steel walled thermos; now all I have to do is drink the contents of the two quart double stainless steel thermos in one day; in doing so I have a consistent stable evenly titrated effective dosing solution of the anti-inflammatory curcumin nutrient in my circulatory system being supplied evenly, effectively and consistently in a very stable and reliable manner all day every day without deviation from nominal expected values; to optimally administer curcumin as evenly as potentially optimally possible;

      Guys, that is only $0.14 per day for 1,000 grams of powdered curcumin and five days of measured powdered curcumin is still only $0.75 per five days!!!

  6. Mya

    Meriva curcumin has been miraculous in helping treat a certain type of itching, a medical condition known as “aquagenic pruritus.”
    It is also helpful in alleviating joint pain.

  7. Mike

    Your article is entitled, “Does Curcumin control blood sugar and insulin after eating?”

    This title would seem to be directed to those individuals who are watching their blood sugar levels (Type 2 Diabetics), rather than healthy individuals who more likely are not concerned.

    So, your readers who do have Type 2 Diabetes read the article only to find this statement at the end, “we do not know whether curcumin would have the same effect on people with type 2 diabetes”.

    I think your readers would appreciate knowing in advance the direction the article is taking and who would benefit by reading it.

    • Terry Graedon

      No doubt you are right, Mike. Perhaps we should have used the title: We don’t know if this supplement will help people with type 2 diabetes. I do not know if you would have read it in that case.

    • Debbie

      What dose are you taking? My 17 year-old has this condition.

  8. Don
    South Florida

    Would like to see you do a segment on Curcumin and memory. I am a Type 1 on a insulin pump and sensors so I am not sure it would help my diabetes



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