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Can Curcumin Prevent Diabetes?

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the yellow spice turmeric that is used in curry and mustard. Researchers have found that this compound has powerful anti-inflammatory activity that may make it helpful against conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.

A new study suggests that curcumin may also provide potential benefit against diabetes. Researchers in Thailand recruited 240 subjects with prediabetes. They were randomly assigned to take either a placebo pill or curcumin capsules. At end of the nine-month study, 19 of the patients on placebo had developed diabetes compared to none of those taking curcumin. The investigators speculate that curcumin fights inflammation in the pancreas, permitting beta cells to function more efficiently.

[Diabetes Care, online July 6, 2012]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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