Turmeric aka Curcumin has been long known to have anti-inflammatory effects on humans both systemically as well as in the intestinal tract when consumed. In a recent study where subjects were given curcumin extract for a period of 9 months it was found that it stopped progression from pre-diabetic state to type 2 diabetes in all subjects in the treatment group. The control group had a 16.4% progression of its members to developing type 2 diabetes. It was also found that the curcumin treatment appeared to improve overall function of the pancreatic beta cells with minor adverse effects. The authors concluded that from the results of the study that curcumin intervention can prevent DM2 conversion and lower the insulin resistance level by maintain healthy pancreatic beta cell function. One of the mechanisms is by increasing adiponectin levels which is associated with lower risk of DM2 development. Curcumin has also been shown to reduce inflammation by down-regulating other inflammatory cytokines such as TNF alpha, leptin, resistin. Inflammation is one of the main causes of pancreatic beta cell degradation.
It seems that curcumin is a very effective, safe and simple method of reduction insulin resistance and preventing DM2 development in a pre-diabetic population. Each participant was given 250mg of curcumin for a period of 9 months and the placebo group was given no active ingredient but the same amount of pills as the active group so everyone was blinded to the intervention. They were checked at 3, 6 and 9 months to see how the blood levels of inflammatory markers as well as blood sugar and insulin levels.
Curcumin Extract for prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. Chuengsamarn, S., Phisalaphong, C., Rattanamongkolgul, S., Luechapudiporn, R. and Jirawatnotai, S. Diabetes Care, Vol 35, 2012, p 2121-2127.