Scientific literature supports using turmeric as an ideal drug alternative for treating and preventing Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes treatments tend to fall into one of two categories: medications such as Metformin or lifestyle habits like exercise and a proper diet. However, there is one category that deserves just as much consideration, if not more, and that’s herbal remedies – and turmeric in particular.

With 30.3 million Americans suffering from diabetes in 2015, almost 10 percent of the population is now dealing with this disease. The percentage is even higher among those aged 65 and older at 25.2 percent. A further 84.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with prediabetes, which means they are on track to develop type 2 diabetes in the future. As one of the leading causes of death in first world countries, it’s important to gain control over the illness as early as possible, and it looks like the humble orange spice known as turmeric could be the key.

It’s the active polyphenol found in turmeric known as curcumin that is responsible for the beneficial effects, and an ever-growing body of research shows the multi-pronged approach that curcumin takes in addressing this all-too-common illness. While it has demonstrated a host of impressive benefits, there’s one that takes the cake: A study that was published in Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetic Association, found taking 1,000 milligrams of curcumin each day for nine months was 100 percent successful at preventing prediabetics from going on to develop type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, 16.4 percent of those in the placebo group developed the life-reducing illness.

Compare this to the popular diabetes drug metformin, which carries with it a slew of unfavorable effects. While it does lower blood sugar, it raises morbidity and mortality. Its most common side effects are diarrhea, vomiting, and feeling sick, and it’s not suitable for those with heart, liver or kidney problems. Some of its more serious side effects include slow heartbeat, liver issues, muscle weakness, and vision problems. If turmeric can help people avoid taking this drug, it could spare countless people from unwanted health issues.

Curcumin helps to mitigate some of diabetes’ hallmarks, like insulin resistance and high blood sugar. Animal and cell research points to ten different mechanisms through which curcumin can improve type 2 diabetes, including a reduction in the production of liver glycogen and glucose and improvement in pancreatic cell function. Human clinical research, meanwhile, has demonstrated positive effects like lowered glucose, improved utilization and oxidation of fatty acids, and better beta cell function.

Curcumin helps fight inflammation

Because curcumin fights inflammation, it is well-suited to addressing a disease like diabetes, whose root cause happens to be systemic inflammation affecting insulin function. Its effects on inflammatory-based diseases also mean it can help address problems like cancer, arthritis, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, to name just a few.

Combining turmeric with omega 3s may yield even more positive results. A study of more than 2,000 participants over 20 years found that the people who ate the greatest amounts of omega 3 fatty acids from fish and fish oils enjoyed a 33 percent reduced likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

Turmeric may be almost magical in its ability to help fight and prevent diabetes, but it remains important to adhere to an overall healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a clean, organic diet rich in nutritious foods, getting regular exercise, avoiding toxins, and addressing emotional factors. A holistic approach to diabetes is the best course of action, and turmeric can play a significant role in that.

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