By Sayer Ji • Originally published on GreenMedInfo.com
Many diabetics already know about the benefits of a low-glycemic diet, but why haven’t they heard about turmeric, one of the world’s most extensively researched anti-diabetic plants?
A recent literature review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism titled, “Anti-Hyperglycemic Effect and Insulin Sensitizing Effects of Turmeric and Its Principle Constituent Curcumin,” adds promising new support to the notion that the ancient Indian spice turmeric may provide an ideal drug alternative to treating and perhaps even preventing type 2 diabetes, which has become of the world’s most prevalent diagnoses.
The study reviewed research published between 1998 to 2013 that indicates the active polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin may provide an ideal intervention for type 2 diabetes, capable of mitigating characteristic pathophysiological hallmarks of the disease such as elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and insulin resistance.
Nineteen of the studies reviewed were cell (in vitro) and animal (in vivo), all which showed beneficial effects. Five of the studies were human clinical trials using turmeric or curcumin, three of which were performed in those with either diabetes or prediabetes.
Amazingly, the animal and cell research literature review concluded that curcumin could improve the type 2 diabetic state through 10 distinctly different mechanisms, such as:
- Reduction in liver glucose production
- Reduction in liver glycogen production
- Stimulation of increased glucose uptake (by increasing GLUT4, GLUT2 and GLUT3 gene expressions)
- Increasing the activation of AMP kinase
- Promoting PPAR γ ligand- binding activity
- Suppressing hyperglycemia-induced inflammatory state
- Stimulating insulin secretion from pancreatic tissues
- Improvement in pancreatic cell function,
- Increasing phosphorylation of AKT
- Increasing insulin receptor β and reduction of insulin resistance
The human clinical research conducted on diabetic and pre-diabetic patients revealed that curcumin had the following beneficial effects:
- Glucose lowering effect
- Improved beta cell function
- Improved fatty acid oxidation and utilization
One of these studies is especially worth highlighting, as it found a turmeric extract was highly effective in preventing the development of diabetes within pre-diabetic subjects. The study published in 2012, in the American Diabetic Association’s own journal, Diabetes Care, and titled, “Curcumin extract for the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” found that the administration of six capsules containing 250 mg of curcumin daily for 9 months was 100% effective at preventing the development of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics; more specifically: “16.4% of the subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with T2DM, whereas none were diagnosed with T2DM.”
Observed effects like these are extremely promising when viewed within the context of the highly dismal pharmaceutically-based standard of care. For instance, oral anti-diabetic drugs like metformin are notorious for their serious side effects. They often lower blood sugar, generating the surface appearance of physiological normality, e.g. blood sugar within range, but actually increase morbidity and mortality. With the possibility of deadly side effects, we need natural, safe, affordable and easily accessible alternatives like turmeric now more than ever.
Moreover, despite the well-known problem of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, recombinant or genetically modified insulin is often used in these patients – a highly illogical and irresponsible approach, and which is endemic to a medical paradigm that does not seek to identity for resolve root causes of disease. A small, but highly concerning recent clinical study found that insulin accelerated the progression of type 2 diabetes, as well as caused type 1 diabetes, or “double diabetes.”
Diabetes is, of course, driven by a dietary pattern that reflects evolutionary mismatch, i.e. the Western diet is a lethal disease vector that has no resemblance to the traditional diet humans consumed for thousands of years, and upon which it still depends for good health.
Turmeric, therefore, while an amazing alternative to diabetic drugs, should not be considered a “natural cure”; rather, it is something of a palliative counter-balance to a biologically inappropriate diet, which while far better than pharmaceuticals (learn more by reading: Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs), still needs to be part of a broader, more holistic plan that takes into account diet, exercise, toxicant exposure, and mind-body/emotional factors that underpin well-being and contribute significantly to most dis-eases.
From Ocean Robbins, Food Revolution Network CEO:
Many of our members have been asking how much curcumin to take, how to take it in a bioavailable form, and where to get curcumin from a source they can trust. The challenge with taking full advantage of the curcumin in turmeric is low bioavailability. Personally, I love mixing fresh and dried turmeric into all sorts of foods – and I always try to include black pepper with it, because studies show that piperine (found in black pepper) helps to increase absorbability.
But now PuraTHRIVE has developed a curcumin supplement that utilizes a cutting-edge micelle liposomal delivery mechanism that’s been found to increase bioavailability by up to 185 times. Their formula also contains ginger oil, vegan DHA fatty acids from algae, and beneficial phospholipids. The product is 100% vegan, organic, soy-free, and non-GMO. And if you get it from this link, they’ll contribute a portion of the proceeds to the work of the Food Revolution Network. Click here to find out more.
A Word of Caution:
Turmeric is a natural blood thinner. If you’re currently taking blood thinning medications, are pregnant, have gallstones, or are susceptible to kidney stones you may want to moderate your turmeric consumption or take it under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Lead in Tumeric
Investigators believe that in some countries, turmeric may be intentionally contaminated with lead to enhance its weight, color, or both. Lead-contaminated turmeric has repeatedly been found in India and Bangladesh, and it may be a concern in the United States, as well.
The FDA has not set maximum permissible levels of lead in spices. As a result, the agency does not regulate lead levels in turmeric. If you want to protect yourself and your family from possible lead contamination, the best option is to buy fresh turmeric root or to buy organic turmeric and curcumin products. You can also contact manufacturers to ask if they test for lead and other metals.
We asked PuraTHRIVE about their products and lead, and they told us they run ICPMS (the highest standard for heavy metal testing) on every batch of Curcumin Gold. They test internally and also hire a third party for independent verification. The test results show there is no lead in their products. They report that they are also fully compliant with California’s Prop 65. See more about Curcumin Gold here.