News / Health

    Curry Lowers Diabetes Risk, Study Finds

    Curry spice Curry spice
    x
    Curry spice
    Curry spice
    Jessica Berman
    According to a World Health Organization study, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes around the world will reach 366 million by 2030. People with this condition have trouble processing dietary sugar which, instead of providing energy, builds up to dangerous levels in their blood.  Now, a small study conducted in Thailand suggests that an ingredient found in curry dishes may reduce the risk of developing the chronic disease. 

    A new study suggests curcumin may lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes in people who are pre-diabetic, a condition that precedes full-blown diabetes. The substance is found in turmeric, the spice that gives curry dishes their characteristic flavor and yellow color. 

    Researchers at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok recruited 240 people who were all pre-diabetic.  The participants were educated about the condition and how to manage it with proper diet and exercise.  None was on any medication to manage their condition.  

    For nine months, half the participants took six capsules of curcumin every day, while the other half was given a placebo, or dummy pill.  By the end of the study, 16 percent of patients in the placebo group developed Type 2 diabetes. None in the curcumin group did.

    Constance Brown-Riggs is a dietitian and diabetes expert with the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  While the study was well done and in her view significant, Brown-Riggs says curry should not be viewed as a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise when it comes to managing diabetes.

    “People tend to look for a silver bullet.  They are always looking for the quick fix as I call it, which is the 'silver bullet.'  The fact is that it is generally not one supplement that is going to prevent someone from going on to develop Type 2 diabetes," noted Brown-Riggs.

    For now, she cautions against using herbs and spices in a concentrated form, even though Brown-Riggs acknowledges research is beginning to show they may have healthful, anti-oxidant properties that counter the effects of inflammation, which can lead to heart disease and cancer.

    "Until we get a much larger body of research to support that, eating Asian cuisine is a good way of getting this particular spice - turmeric - in the diet," she said.

    Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, often seen in obese individuals.  It usually begins with elevated blood sugar levels that are not high enough to be considered diabetic.  Commonly, people who begin eating better and losing weight can prevent the condition from progressing to full-blown diabetes.

    In the study, people in the cucumin group also lost weight, while those in the placebo group did not.  Weight loss seems to reduce insulin resistance, the hallmark of the disease. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in the body no longer respond to the hormone which helps convert glucose from food into energy.  Blood sugar then remains elevated and, over many years, people with Type 2 diabetes can develop a host of complications, including poor blood circulation and blindness.

    The Thai researchers speculate that tumeric has anti-inflammatory properties as well, that help protect insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas from damage, improving their efficiency.  In addition to insulin, beta cells produce a hormone that regulates blood sugar.

    A study on curcumin’s potential benefits in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes is published in the journal Diabetes Care.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora