A team of researchers led by an Indian-origin scientist believe that Curcumin, a substance in turmeric, when combined with an omega-3 fat may have the potential to prevent the onset or delay type-2 diabetes.
The University of Newcastle’s Nutraceuticals Research Group scientists led by Professor Manohar Garg are looking to recruit 80 people, prone to diabetes, to study the possibility of Indian spice, turmeric, to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, when combined with an omega-3 fat. Well known for its healing properties in India, turmeric-derived Curcumin is a part of the ginger family. It is commonly used as food color.
“The root cause of type 2 diabetes is systemic inflammation, which impacts insulin secretion and function,” said Garg. “We want to nip the inflammation in the bud,” he added
“This study will use two bioactive compounds that we find in food — curcumin and omega—3 fat. Both are very important anti-inflammatory agents.”
“Nowadays in India the level of curcumin (turmeric) intake has dropped considerably as people switch to Westernised fast foods, and it parallels with a significant rise in type 2 diabetes cases. In fact the disease is now an epidemic in India and may soon be the number one health burden,” Garg said.
Clinical study on type-2 diabetes
People between 30 to 70 years and who are prone to develop diabetes due to impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose are eligible for the study. In the randomized control trial that will test both curcumin and omega-3 fat, the recruited group will be divided into four groups.
One group will be given only curcumin, the second one will be given only omega-3 fat, third will receive both, while the fourth group will be the control group. The capsules contain 200 mg of curcumin and one gram of omega-3 fat respectively.
“The anti-inflammatory mechanisms surrounding curcumin and omega-3 fats are different, so we want to test if they complement each other and have treatment synergies beyond their individual effects,” Garg said.
According to Garg, the combination is safe, free of any side-effects besides proving to be an effective drug used for type-2 diabetes management.