Diabetes: The 49p ingredient that could lower blood sugar levels

Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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Diabetes describes a chronic condition in which blood sugar levels become elevated. This is triggered because of the difficulties with the main mechanism responsible for taking up glucose – a hormone called insulin. When you have diabetes, the insulin produced by your body is either not effective, there isn’t enough of it or you can’t produce any at all.

Diabetes is set to affect one in 10 people by 2030, Diabetes UK reports.

The good news is there are simple ways to help manage your blood sugar levels.

When it comes to blood sugar control, what you eat plays a crucial role.

For example, carbohydrates are broken down to glucose fast, potentially causing spikes in blood sugar.

But one ingredient which is beneficial for diabetes because of its blood sugar lowering ability is turmeric.

The warm yellow spice is typically found in curries or lattes and can help slash blood sugar, according to various research.

The colourful powder contains a potent component called curcumin.

Curcumin is the part of turmeric studied for its benefits for diabetes patients and blood sugar control.

One review, published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, reports that curcumin can target high blood sugar, insulin resistance and other complications linked to the condition.

Insulin resistance describes when the cells in your muscles, fat and liver can’t easily take up blood sugar.

However, the review also reports that the majority of the studies it looked at have been only conducted on animal models.

“Studies are badly needed to be done in humans to confirm the potential of curcumin in limiting diabetes and other associated disorders,” the review states.

Clinical studies on humans are indeed more limited but there are two examples confirming turmeric’s benefits.

One study, published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, found that participants who were taking turmeric powder along with their diabetes medication managed to lower their blood sugar and inflammation.

They had two grams of turmeric for a period of four weeks.

The second human study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, recruited prediabetic patients.

They were divided into two groups, with one taking placebo and the other consuming curcumin.

After nine months of following these two diets, the curcumin group didn’t have a single participant who developed full-blown diabetes.

However, the placebo group saw more than 16 percent diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

This suggests that turmeric isn’t only beneficial for blood sugar levels but also for prediabetic patients.

Based on the studies, curcumin which can be found in turmeric powder shows “potent antidiabetic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties”.

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