In a truly astonishing study that should have gotten a lot more attention than it did, curcumin, the active ingredient of the herb turmeric, has been shown to stop cold the progression of prediabetes into diabetes. That means there's a herbal treatment that could stop people at risk of diabetes from becoming diabetic. . . .

The study was double-blind and placebo-controlled. It included 237 people who were prediabetic as defined by the American Diabetes Associatiation guidelines. Each of the prediabetic people was given either curcumin or a placebo for nine months. The curcumin was taken as a curcuminoid extract containing 750mg of curcuminoids twice a day. 

The curcumin significantly lowered the number of people who went on to have their prediabetes become actual diabetes. But "significantly lowered" doesn't catch the amazing part of this study: while 16.4% of the prediabetics in the placebo group went on to develop type 2 diabetes, not one person in the curcumin group did. Not one! Curcumin prevented the progression to diabetes in every at risk person who took it.

At the end of the study, the people who took the curcumin had significantly better beta-cell function. The beta-cells produce insulin, and it is the failure of the beta-cells that results in type 2 diabetes. They also had significantly less insulin resistance.

This controlled study in no less a journal than the American Diabetes Association's own Diabetes Care shows that curcumin from the herb turmeric may actually be able to stop the development of diabetes.

Diabetes Care 2012;35:2121-7

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