An article published in the Escience News highlighted the potential healing properties of a common household spice: Turmeric. The spice is reported to have beneficial effects for patients with diabetes, as well as people who want to halt weight gain and trim down. A recent scientific study revealed that turmeric provided powerful health benefits to mice with diabetes.
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“Turmeric, an Asian spice found in many curries, has a long history of use in reducing inflammation, healing wounds and relieving pain…
“Drew Tortoriello, M.D., an endocrinologist and research scientist at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center, working with pediatric resident Stuart Weisberg, M.D., Ph.D., and Rudolph Leibel, M.D., fellow endocrinologist and the co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, discovered that turmeric-treated mice were less susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes, based on their blood glucose levels, and glucose and insulin tolerance tests. They also discovered that turmeric-fed obese mice showed significantly reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver compared to controls. They speculate that curcumin, the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant ingredient in turmeric, lessens insulin resistance and prevents Type 2 diabetes in these mouse models by dampening the inflammatory response provoked by obesity.
“Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has no known dose-limiting toxicities in doses of up to at least 12 grams daily in humans.
“Researchers hypothesized that by suppressing the number and activity of these cells, with turmeric or a drug with similar actions, it may be possible to reduce some of the adverse consequences of obesity.
“Curcumin administration was also associated with a small but significant decline in body weight and fat content, despite level or higher calorie consumption, suggesting that curcumin beneficially influences body composition.
“Dr. Tortoriello said. “Although the daily intake of curcumin one might have to consume as a primary diabetes treatment is likely impractical, it is entirely possible that lower dosages of curcumin could nicely complement our traditional therapies as a natural and safe treatment.”
“For now, the conclusion that Dr. Tortoriello and his colleagues have reached is that turmeric – and its active anti-oxidant ingredient, curcumin – reverses many of the inflammatory and metabolic problems associated with obesity and improves blood-sugar control in mouse models of Type 2 diabetes.”
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