The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) claims that Diabetes Mellitusis a disease that is becoming a worldwide problem with serious consequences to human health. It severely impairs people’s quality of life and affects people all over the world. Diabetes causes many complications, which could increase the mortality rate of patients. Studies have shown that oxidative stress in the body and inflammatory reactions lead to the start of Diabetes Mellitus.
Modern day diabetic drugs cause side effects so there is an increasing demand for natural anti-diabetic drugs with minimal or no side effects. Curcumin is the active ingredient found in the rhizome of Curcuma longa(Turmeric). It’s what gives Turmeric its rich yellow color. Turmeric is a spice that has been used for centuries in India and China in food and medicines. Many of Curcumin’s actions are therapeutic and can be attributed to Turmeric’s potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
A joint research project carried out in a number of countries in the world in 1980, showed Diabetes to be prevalent in adults. The number of Diabetic patients increased from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008. The data from this investigation involved adults from age 25 years and older in 199 countries and territories and a total of 2.7 million participants. Another study, estimates worldwide prevalence of Diabetes among adults to rise from 285 million in 2010, to about 439 million by 2030.
A number of drugs have been developed for Diabetes but the use of Turmeric stands out especially because it helps in all aviating disorders with minimal side effects. Many studies have been carried out on the effect of Curcumin on Diabetes but the most popular is a recent study carried out on rats by researchers in China that proves indeed Curcumin lowers blood sugar levels. However, more clinical trials on humans are needed to truly confirm the effects of Curcumin in the fight against Diabetes.
How Does Curcumin in Turmeric Help in Controlling Diabetes?
It is postulated that Curcumin in Turmeric plays an important role in reversing damage to the cells that produce Insulin in the pancreas. The dyfunctional cells can be repaired with the consumption of turmeric. Turmeric is great in stabilizing blood sugar levels making diabetes more manageable. Medical practitioners usually advise regular exercise along with supplements to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Evidence from research indicates that Curcumin in Turmeric may be especially beneficial for people with diabetes. It has been known to help control diabetes by repairing and regenerating pancreatic cells, lowering blood sugar levels, lowering oxidative stress in the body, decreasing inflammation and lowering cholesterol. More than a decade ago a research paper was published in the journal; “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” compiled more than 13 years of research on the possible link between diabetes and curcumin. The research suggests that curcumin could be used for intervention and even for prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. In a research posted in“Diabetes Care”a group of people were given curcumin for a period of 9 months, after which they seemed to be in better health and were less likely to develop the full-blown disease.
Curcumin may reduce diabetes-related complications: Diabetes as a disease leads to many other complications not just slowing the body’s ability to breakdown sugar. People with diabetes often have liver problems, like fatty liver disease and other diabetic induced conditions like nerve damage, cataracts, diabetic vascular disease etc. Curcumin was found helpful in preventing all those conditions and also improved digestion and speeded up wound-healing in diabetics
What you should consider before taking Turmeric.
If you are considering taking Turmeric, there are certain things you should keep in mind before you start. These include:
1. Careful research about the supplement you intend to take. This includes reading its labels, taking note of its ingredients and dosage.
2. Start with a low dose and then increase it gradually if you need to.
3. If you have a history of kidney stones or anemia, you need to be extra careful.
4. It’s also important to follow caution if you are allergic to Turmeric or if your stomach does not tolerate it.
5. Turmeric is most potent when it’s consumed fresh. So you intend to use it as a supplement or in your food, buy only what you need and not in bulk.
6. Cooking Turmeric in food reduces some of its medicinal values so keep in mind that you won’t have the same benefits as when you use it fresh.
7. Turmeric is insoluble in water and is also hard to absorb. Combining Turmeric with Ginger or black pepper can improve absorption and lead to more benefits.
Are there any side effects or dangers to consider when using turmeric as an alternative to support diabetes treatment?
While turmeric is popular for its innumerable health benefits and it’s been proven to have a positive effect in reducing blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, it’s a good idea to stay informed of both its benefits and side effects. So what happens if you take an overdose of Curcumin? High doses of Curcumin are likely to cause any of the following reactions:
• Heavy menstrual flow
• Liver problems
• Gallbladder disease
It can also have serious reactions when used with anti-coagulants like aspirin or warfarin. Side effects may also include acne and ulcers. Turmeric is also known to thin blood, therefore, its best for pregnant and lactating women to avoid turmeric at all times. It’s safe to conclude that taking Turmeric as an alternative medication would help diabetics in a positive and healthy way since most research points in that direction and a lot of its benefits have been proven already.