Life Extension Update
Friday, August 10, 2012. Supplementing with curcumin extract may help protect against the development of type 2 diabetes among prediabetic men and women, according to the findings of a trial published online on July 6, 2012 in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care.
The trial included 237 individuals with prediabetes, defined as having a fasting plasma glucose level between 100 and 124 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), oral glucose tolerance test plasma glucose between 140 and 199 mg/dL two hours following glucose administration, or a glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) level of 5.7 to 6.4 percent. Participants were randomized to receive a daily regimen of three curcumin capsules containing 240 milligrams curcuminoids each twice per day or placebo capsules for nine months. Physical examinations conducted upon enrollment and at three, six and nine months provided data on body weight, waist circumference, glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, glycated hemoglobin, C-peptide and other factors.
At the end of the trial, 16.4 percent of the participants who received a placebo had developed diabetes, defined as a fasting plasma glucose level of 126 mg/dL or higher, an oral glucose tolerance test level of 200 mg/dL or higher at 2 hours, or a HbA1C of 6.5% or more. Among those who received curcumin, no cases of diabetes occurred. The curcumin group had better functioning of beta-cells (cells of the pancreas that store and release insulin and C-peptide), decreased insulin resistance and higher adiponectin levels compared to the placebo group. Additionally, a slight reduction in body weight and waist circumference was observed in the curcumin group at the last follow-up visit. No significant adverse effects were observed.
Authors Somlak Cheungsamarn and colleagues suggest that curcumin may prevent the progression of prediabetes to diabetes by maintaining healthy beta-cell function. They also noted that the increase in adiponectin observed in association with curcumin supplementation helps lower inflammation, which is a cause of beta-cell degradation.
"Our study showed that the curcumin extract can effectively prevent the prediabetes population from developing type 2 diabetes mellitus," they write. "Although we found that the results were quite remarkable, a longer trial may be required to see if the curcumin-treated prediabetes population will eventually develop type 2 diabetes mellitus."
"Because of its benefits and safety, we propose that curcumin extract may be used for an intervention therapy for the prediabetes population," the authors conclude.
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