turmeric and curcumin help control high blood sugar or hypoglycemia

Over a billion people in the world have diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. That’s a lot of people this safe, inexpensive, powerful herb could help.

Metabolic disease is a large group of conditions, including diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cardiovascular disease. These can lead to further complications like neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, blindness, heart attack and kidney failure.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the herb turmeric, has been consistently shown to help a number of these factors. So, researchers conducted a systematic-review and meta-analysis to see if curcumin could really help high blood sugar in people with metabolic disease.

The meta-analysis included 22 studies. Everyone in the studies had metabolic disease like diabetes, prediabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, metabolic syndrome or NAFLD. All the studies were controlled human trials.

All 22 studies reported on fasting blood glucose, revealing that turmeric and curcumin significantly reduce fasting blood sugar.

Seeing what curcumin does to HbA1c is crucial because HbA1c is the most important marker of long term blood sugar and diabetes control. 14 studies measured HbA1c. And the good news is that they found that turmeric and curcumin significantly lower reduce levels of HbA1c.

Ten studies looked at the effect of turmeric and curcumin on insulin resistance as measured by HOMA-IR and again found significant reductions.

The study found that turmeric and curcumin are most effective when taken for longer periods of time of at least 8 weeks.

Pharmacological Research March 2022;177:106121

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