Diabetes is a chronic disease with many complications that, left unchecked, can lead to mortality. According to the CDC, approximately 15% of Americans over the age of 20 suffered from diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes between 2013 and 2016. And over 83,000 Americans died from complications stemming from diabetes in 2017. Multiple studies of turmeric and diabetes have shown promising results. In this article we take a look at the different types of diabetes and whether turmeric can help in preventing or reversing it.
Types of Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes, differentiated mainly by whether the body 1) produces enough insulin, or 2) responds correctly to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body metabolize glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Regardless of the type, diabetics have too much sugar in their blood, creating chronic metabolic stress. In all types of diabetes, the lack of insulin, or properly functioning insulin, keep glucose in the bloodstream rather than being metabolized. In this article, we explain why turmeric and diabetes are a natural pairing, but first a little more background on the disease itself.
Type 1 Diabetes
This is basically an autoimmune condition in which the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells within the pancreas. It commonly affects children, thus the moniker juvenile diabetes, and is believed to be at least partially hereditary. About 10% of all diabetes cases are Type 1, it is the most severe, and must be treated with external insulin injections.
Type 2 Diabetes
This occurs when the body doesn’t respond to insulin in the proper way. It can result from a number of causes, but being overweight and eating an unhealthy diet are two of the most common. Type 2 diabetes normally begins after the age of 35, thus the moniker adult-onset diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes are able to produce some of their own insulin but it doesn’t work properly to allow glucose to be metabolized.
During pregnancy, women need to produce extra insulin to control elevated blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce enough extra insulin during pregnancy to keep blood sugar levels under control. The two most common risk factors are being overweight or susceptible to diabetes prior to conception.
Turmeric and Diabetes – Can it Help?
Research on turmeric and diabetes published by the National Institute of Health (PubMed) indicates that, yes, turmeric and curcumin are effective in lowering and stabilizing blood glucose levels. The research shows that turmeric may have a role in diabetes prevention and management.
How to Use Turmeric to Treat Diabetes
The easiest way to use turmeric curcumin to treat diabetes is by taking a healthy dose of a daily supplement. We recommend that you refer to our page of top turmeric curcumin supplements to see our latest comparisons and links to product reviews.
Alternatively, or in addition, you may supplement by using liquid turmeric extract products. In our top turmeric liquid extracts page, we compare and link to reviews of our favorite turmeric liquid products.
You should also strongly consider incorporating whole turmeric powder into your cooking habits. We wrote an article on Cooking With Turmeric which is a good place to start. We also have a page dedicated to our picks of top turmeric powders for cooking where you may see our latest product comparisons and links to reviews.
Summary – Turmeric and Diabetes
Natural health practitioners have been claiming for years that turmeric is effective in preventing and managing diabetes. Now there is science backing these claims with peer-reviewed research published at the National Institute of Health. Turmeric is such a versatile spice with so many uses that we cannot understand why everyone doesn’t cook with and take turmeric supplements daily. We suggest you get started with a powder for cooking and beverages like teas and golden milk, and a quality turmeric supplement.