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Effect of Curcuma longa (turmeric) on postprandial glycemia in healthy, non-diabetic adults

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Curcumin is an active ingredient of Curcuma longa (Turmeric) and is studied extensively for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties. The purpose of this study was to

Curcumin is an active ingredient of Curcuma longa (Turmeric) and is studied extensively for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of turmeric on blood glucose and plasma insulin levels. The study utilized a placebo-controlled, randomized cross-over design with participants serving as their own control. Eight glucose tolerant healthy participants completed the full study. Three-weeks washout period was kept in between six-weeks. Prior to the test meal day, participants were asked to eat a bagel with their evening dinner. During the day of the test meal, participants reported to the test site in a rested and fasted state. Participants completed mashed potato meal tests with 500 mg of turmeric powder or placebo mixed in water, followed by 3 weeks of 500 mg turmeric or placebo supplement ingestion at home. During this visit blood glucose finger picks were obtained at fasting, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min post-meal. Blood plasma insulin at fasting and at 30 min after the test meal were also obtained. During week 4, participants reported to the test site in a rested and fasted state where fasting blood glucose finger pricks and blood plasma insulin were measured. During week 5 to 7, participants were given a washout time-period. During week 8, entire process from week 1 to 4 was repeated by interchanging the groups. Compared to placebo, reduction in postprandial blood glucose and insulin response were non-significant after ingestion of turmeric powder. Taking turmeric for 3 weeks had no change in blood glucose and insulin levels. However, taking turmeric powder supplements for 3 weeks, showed a 4.4% reduction in blood glucose. Change in insulin at 30 min were compared with baseline insulin level showing no significant change between placebo and turmeric group. Fasting insulin after 3-weeks consumption of turmeric did not show any significant change, but showed a larger effect size (0.08). Future research is essential to examine the turmeric powder supplement benefits over a long period of time in healthy adults and whether it is beneficial in preventing the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.

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  • 2017