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Natural Awakenings

A Spicy Approach to Diabetes Prevention: Turmeric Spice is Put to the Test

Jan 01, 2009 03:00AM

Turmeric, a spice found in curries and other Asian delights, has a long history of use in reducing inflammation, healing wounds and relieving pain. Because inflammation plays a big role in various diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, scientists at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center have put the rich, golden spice to the test.

Working with obese laboratory mice, they discovered that turmeric-fed mice were less susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes, based on measures of glucose and insulin tolerance tests. The mice also showed significantly reduced inflammation in their fat tissue and liver, compared with the non-turmeric-fed control group. The scientists speculate that these benefits can be attributed to curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance found in turmeric that lessens insulin resistance and thus, helps protect against Type 2 diabetes.

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