Supplements containing a compound found in curry spice may help prevent diabetes in people at high risk, according to a Thai study.
Researchers, whose results were published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that over nine months, a daily dose of curcumin seemed to prevent new cases of diabetes among people with so-called prediabetes - abnormally high blood sugar levels that may progress to full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Curcumin is a compound in turmeric spice. Previous lab research has suggested it can fight inflammation and so-called oxidative damage to body cells. Those two processes are thought to feed a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
"Because of its benefits and safety, we propose that curcumin extract may be used for an intervention therapy for the prediabetes population," wrote study leader Somlak Chuengsamarn of Srinakharinwirot University in Nakomnayok, Thailand.
The study included 240 Thai adults with prediabetes who were randomly assigned to take either curcumin capsules or a placebo. The ones taking curcumin took six supplement capsules a day, each of which contained 250 milligrams of "curcuminoids".
After nine months, 19 of the 116 placebo patients had developed type 2 diabetes. That compared with none of the 119 patients taking curcumin.
The researchers found that the supplement seemed to improve the function of beta-cells, which are cells in the pancreas that release the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin. They speculate that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin help protect beta-cells from damage.
But a diabetes expert not involved in the study said it's still too early for people to head to the health food store for 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 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The trial lasted only nine months, and it's already known from longer-lasting, larger trials that lifestyle changes -- including calorie-cutting and exercise -- can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
Brown-Riggs added that consumers can't be sure that a product actually contains the ingredients, or the amount of ingredient, listed on the label.
"If I was talking to a patient about this, I'd say concentrate on eating healthy and overall lifestyle," she said. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/MFHRTl
Hundreds of thousands of climate activists have descended on Paris ahead of the UN Climate Conference and are preparing to defy a ban on street protests joining thousands of protestors around the world.
'This is all bad news for the planet,' head of the World Meteorological Organization says
UN agency calls for urgent climate deal as hundreds of thousands fall victims to weather disasters
Fifty grams of processed meat eaten daily increases risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent, say experts
COP21 conference aims at securing a pact on greenhouse gases that would limit global warming to two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times.
Earth is on track for average warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, exceeding UN's anticipation
The London Project to Cure Blindness was established a decade ago to try to reverse vision loss in patients with age-related macular degeneration
Improvement has been seen around the globe, even in the key tropical rainforests of South America and Africa
Christiana Figueres says there is 1.2 million euros deficit to cover upcoming sessions
Some of the world's major cities, most Pacific island nations are at risk of disappearing due to rising seas
Yemen forces allied to the Houthi have launched a scud missile toward southern Saudi Arabia
Three dozens of fires may cause an ecological catastrophe to Lake Baikal in Russia
National and international slow responses to epidemies show how far the world is from achieving global health security
Call for action in madrassas and mosques around the world is intended to emphasize the role Islam can play in combating climate change
New reports claim parent company Alphabet is attempting to fight malaria and other diseases transmitted via insects
Scientists are predicting that Earth could be heading towards an extraordinary event which would see compasses point south and the sun rise in the West.