A curry compound could help to keep diabetes at bay among people most at risk, a small new study shows.
The research, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that people with prediabetes who took capsules containing curcumin — a compound found in the curry spice turmeric — were less likely to go on to develop Type 2 diabetes, compared with people who didn’t take the curcumin capsules, Reuters reported.
“This study demonstrated that the curcumin intervention in a prediabetes population may be beneficial,” Thai researchers wrote in the study.
Nearly 26 million adults have diabetes in the United States, while as many as 79 million adults are estimated to have prediabetes, according to the National Diabetes Education Program.
The study included 240 people who all had prediabetes. They were assigned to take either the curcumin capsules or a placebo for nine months. The researchers followed up with them after three, six and nine months.
At the end of the nine-month period, 16.4 percent of people who took the placebo developed Type 2 diabetes. However, no one in the group that took curcumin developed diabetes.
But still, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Constance Brown-Riggs, who is also a certified diabetes educator, told Reuters that she would continue to recommend a healthy diet and exercise to patients as a way to prevent diabetes.
This is certainly not the first time curcumin has been singled out for its health benefits. In 2008, a study published in the journal Endocrinology showed that mice were less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if they were given turmeric.