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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 examine the effects of turmeric on blood glucose and plasma

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