Turmeric could help in fight against diabetes

Wed, 02 May 2012
Researchers have claimed that an active ingredient of turmeric called curcumin could help in the fight against obesity and diabetes, as well as excessive levels of cholesterol.

Under laboratory conditions, the scientists from India found when curcumin, an ingredient derived from turmeric or haldi, was combined with extracts from black pepper and onion skin, was able to work to manage changes in factors such as blood glucose, body weight, cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

Reported in the journal ISRN Pharmacology, the study showed the ingredient could offer a biochemical mechanism that inhibits glucose uptake by CPQ, the combination called after the three ingredients, curcumin, piperine (from black pepper) and quercetin (taken from onion and also present in some fruit skins).

Co-author of the study Ginpreet Kaur, from the School of Pharmacy and Technology Management in Mumbai, said "Our findings indicate CPQ significantly decreases glucose transport, causing a decrease in its uptake. It is probably due to presence of flavonoids in the combination which get attached to glucose transporters."

Curcumin has long been thought to have medicinal benefits, but this study is one of the first to explore its anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant and lipid-lowering properties. However, the team admits more work needs to be done to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the combination.
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