A compound commonly found in spicy curry food may help protect against diabetes in individuals at high risk of the metabolic condition.
Researchers in Thailand revealed that a daily dose of curcumi, found in turmeric spice, may prevent people with pre-diabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes.
The finding comes from a study of 240 pre-diabetic Thai adults who were randomly assigned to take a daily dose of either six curcumin capsules, each containing 250 milligrams of “curcuminoids”, or a placebo for nine months.
After this period, 19 of the 116 placebo patients were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared with none of the 119 patients in the curcumin group.
The researchers said the supplement seemed to protect and improve the function of the insulin-producing beta cells, which are vital for regulation of blood sugar, and suggest this improvement is due to the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin.
However, a diabetes expert not involved in the study warned while the results of the study look “promising”, further longer-lasting trials need to be carried out before people start stocking up on curcumin supplements .
“This looks promising, but there are still a lot of questions,” said Constance Brown-Riggs, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Chicago-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics .
“If I was talking to a patient about this, I’d say concentrate on eating healthy and overall lifestyle,” she added.

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