According to the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans–nearly ten percent of the population–had diabetes in 2015. This number includes the 12 million seniors–25 percent of people over the age of 65–who suffer from this disease.
A healthy diet and regular exercise are central to keeping diabetes under control and preventing complications. Additionally, there are a number of nutrients that have been proven effective in the treatment of diabetes. Turmeric is one of them.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that comes from the ground-up roots of the turmeric plant. Widely used in Asian cooking, turmeric has, for many centuries, been recognized for its medicinal properties, which have been used to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions, including diabetes.
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric that has been shown to help prevent and assist in treating diabetes symptoms, largely due to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
What the Research Says About Turmeric and Diabetes
A 201Evidence-Basedshed in the journal Evidence Based Alternative and Complementary Medicine found a number of scientifically proven ways in which curcumin can improve symptoms and complications of diabetes and even help prevent diabetes from developing.
Insulin Sensitivity and Blood Glucose Levels
According to the review, a number of studies have found that curcumin increases insulin sensitivity and reduces levels of glucose, hemoglobin, and glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood of diabetic rats. Curcumin was also effective for reducing the levels of fasting blood glucose, urine sugar, and urine volume in rats. A study of mice had similar findings. Dietary turmeric extract taken for four weeks reduced the mice’s blood glucose levels, improved glycemic status, and significantly reversed hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, and hypoinsulinemia.
Additionally, curcumin has been shown to reduce some complications of diabetes. For example, people with diabetes may also suffer from fatty liver disease and other liver problems. A study of diabetic rats found that eight weeks of curcumin therapy improved liver function, reducing liver weight and lead to reduced excretion of albumin, urea, creatine and inorganic phosphorous. In liver disorder-induced rats, oral doses of curcumin reduced total lipid, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.
Diabetic neuropathy, a painful nerve condition common among people with unmanaged diabetes, is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease, and it’s one of the most serious long-term complications of diabetes. Curcumin has been shown to reduce renal damage associated with diabetes, and it may even restore renal function.
Diabetic Vascular Disease
Diabetic vascular disease, another complication of diabetes, has also been successfully treated with curcumin in diabetic rats, and curcumin was also found to improve wound healing in rats and guinea pigs. Several studies have found curcumin effective against diabetes-induced musculoskeletal diseases, and it enhanced erectile function in people with diabetes-induced erectile dysfunction.
Researchers believe that curcumin’s effects on diabetes may be due to its ability to improve immune function in the body. A powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, curcumin limits the release of pro-inflammatory factors that contribute to a wide range of diabetes-related problems.
How to Get Therapeutic Amounts of Curcumin in Your Diet
You’d have to eat an awful lot of turmeric to get effective doses of curcumin in your diet. A turmeric supplement like Nerveology’s Turmeric Curcumin all-natural turmeric extract contains a maximum-strength dose of 1,300 mg of turmeric extract with 95 percent curcuminoids, along with 10 mg of pepper extract to increase absorption in the body. Our formulation boosts immune and liver function, supports cognitive health, and reduces pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.
The research is solid concerning the benefits of curcumin. If you suffer from diabetes, a curcumin supplement along with a healthy lifestyle can promote less pain, better health, and a higher quality of life.