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The Spice Proven to Benefit Prediabetes

In my video Turmeric Curcumin for Prediabetes, I talk about “Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes,” an extraordinary study published in the journal of the American Diabetes Association. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of folks diagnosed with prediabetes, half of the subjects got supplements of curcumin, the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric and curry powder, while the other half got identical-looking placebos, and the researchers just followed them for nine months to see who ended up with diabetes.

After nine months of treatment, 16 percent of subjects in the placebo group went on to get full-blown diabetes. How many in the curcumin group? None. The curcumin group saw a significant improvement in fasting blood sugars, glucose tolerance, hemoglobin A1C, insulin sensitivity and pancreatic insulin-producing beta cell function (measured two different ways.)

What if you already have diabetes? Another study found the same beneficial effects—and at a fraction of the dose. The prediabetes study mentioned above used the equivalent of a quarter cup of turmeric a day, whereas this other study used only about a teaspoon’s worth, which is doable through diet rather than supplements.

What’s particularly interesting here is the purported mechanism: Fat in the bloodstream plays “an important role in the development of insulin resistance and ultimately type 2 diabetes.” Fat builds up inside your muscle cells and gums up the works, and all the inflammation this causes interferes with insulin signaling. However, curcumin decreases fat levels in the blood, making this the first study to show that these turmeric spice compounds may have an anti-diabetic effect.

So, if you are pre-diabetic, it might be a good idea to add turmeric to your diet, but it’s important to recognize that prediabetes is a disease in itself, increasing the risk of death, cancer, heart disease, and vision loss. So, it’s not enough to just prevent progression to full-blown diabetes when prediabetes may be cured completely with a healthy plant-based diet.

As was the case in the smoker pee study I covered in Carcinogen-Blocking Effects of Turmeric, those who abuse their bodies with unhealthy diets can lower their risk by eating powerful plants. Of course, it’s better to cut the crap out altogether. Indeed, if just one plant can have that effect, what about a whole diet composed of plants? Watch Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes and How May Plants Protect Against Diabetes? to get the inside scoop.

Interested in learning more about how fat is involved in the development of diabetes? See:

For more on treating prediabetes and preventing it in the first place, check out:

Diabetes is not the only reason I encourage everyone to consume a quarter teaspoon of turmeric every day. Learn more with these videos:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

18 responses to “The Spice Proven to Benefit Prediabetes

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  1. Cool, but what equal dose of turmeric spice would on have to ingest, and how often,
    to match the pre-diabetes benefit of the supplement containing curcummin? Thank you.

  2. Though I use spices including tumeric almost daily in cooking, I hesitate to consume things like tumeric or green tea in larger quanitites on a regular basis for fear of lead contamination.

    The second study mentioned in the article had patients consume 300 mg curcuminoidsfor 3 mos. The amount of curcuminoids in a teaspoon of turmeric can vary greatly. I have seen 200 mg /tsp average suggested before.

    1. To avoid led contamination, you can buy turmeric root and grind it yourself. Or avoid all turmeric spice sourced from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

      Regarding green tea, that sourced from China can be high in lead. However, most heavy metals in tea appear to be bound to the fibre and do not leach into the liquid infusion

      Note that consumiing green tea with food inhibits ECGC absorption.

      This appears to work the other way around too Tea and coffee inhibit the absorption of non-haem iron from vegetables. It’s probably best not to drink tea/coffee with – or shortly before or after – meals if you are at risk of iron deficiency anaemia. Regarding green tea in particular, this article might be interesting

  3. I love turmeric now.

    My dog was supposed to die 3 weeks ago.

    He had a tumor so big that his organs were on the wrong side of his body and it had already metastasized to his liver and possibly throughout his whole body. Spleen and liver and bleeding out were all verified, but he has signs of it being in his lungs. The vet didn’t mention his heart, but he did say, “Everywhere” and that it was a 100% death sentence and that he very likely wouldn’t make the first weekend, because of how advanced it was.

    It will be a month on Thursday.

    I have to thank God first, because I am a Christian, but then, Turmeric is up there on the list of Thank You’s.

    I am a little afraid that I am in the plot of Infinity Wars and Turmeric might be Thor and the pepper might be his hammer.

    The vet today talked to me and said that he didn’t want me to think about it as if my dog might live, because the end is coming, but he said that he wished me well on my process.

    I pondered each of the foods I have been giving. Artichoke is one, which fascinates me, because it is so powerful on William Li’s list, but doesn’t have all that many studies. It is the less attractive misunderstood sister with a little bit of a prickly personality to soy, who is prettier and more popular and a little bit manic depressive maybe and poor parsley is powerful, but people can only take her in small doses.

    I have been analyzing Triphala and found a brand, which tests every batch for heavy metals.

    I have also been analyzing the essential oils, except that they can cause liver problems and my dog already has those.

    I have also been analyzing B-17, but I always end up singing, “Please, Mister please don’t play B-17”

    I did see a dog tumor progression where a small tumor on a foot when away using it, but I have a basketball sized tumor, which is so big that his organs were on the wrong side of his body and he has already bled out once and still has slow bleeds.

    Hard to figure it all out. There are things like Melatonin and IP-6 and Milk Thistle and ten zillion herbs and the list goes on and on and on and on and on. Every substance on earth was tested against Cancer in a Petri dish, and it doesn’t help that smoker’s pee probably would have killed Cancer in a Petri dish.

    I have taken him off Turmeric right now and won’t put him on Garlic, but the past 3 days, he has been eating a cup of raw broccoli and I celebrate that.

    1. to ingest more fresh parsley, try it blended with some ice and fresh watermelon for the most refreshing summer drink you ever had. you can also add a fresh peach or nectarine: yum!

  4. I guess that Wormwood would be Iron Man.
    Broccoli gets to be The Incredible Hulk, but only because of the green.
    Flax gets to be Batman, because something has to be Batman and Flax has been part of the protocol from the beginning.
    I guess Soy would be Superman, but people don’t want him on the team, because they underestimate him and see him as the bumbling Clark Kent.
    Black beans or black lentils get to be Black Panther and his nation
    Sweet Potatoes could be Super Girl

    The problem with Infinity Wars is that I am the logic guy and I already did the math that Stupid Cancer already had most of the rings before my Superheroes could even start fighting back.

    But it is better than being the mice who give up early.

    My dog does not seem depressed and doesn’t seem to know he is likely to die soon. I think the researchers didn’t do the math that mice didn’t have a lot of time to process things to get depressed.

    (Coming from someone who had an incident of near drowning when I was young. We couldn’t go in the ocean, because there was a hurricane warning, but it has a hot day and we stood in the edge of the water with it up to our ankles and ran when the waves came in, but one time I didn’t run and got sucked in and couldn’t get out and the lifeguard was flirting with someone way down the beach, but my mother saved drowning people’s lives 3 times when we went to the beach. She calmly swam out with a floatation device every time and when she brought the people back, the lifeguard would come over and ask if everything was alright and I balled my eyes out at that point, because I was scratched up from being dashed against the rocks on the bottom over and over again, but never during that whole process did I feel depressed. My mind was trying to figure out how to get out of the situation the whole time. So I don’t believe them thinking that the mouse had time to mentally process that it was in the hands of sadists who were going to kill it and then, think that long enough to experience futility and get depressed. Nope. Don’t believe it.)

    1. Deb, check out the vet website Article on mushrooms.

      The phase 1 study on normalizing immune response in breast cancer patients had success. These patients had both chemo and radiation which damaged their immune system. So their body’s ability to fight circulating cancer cells was compromised.
      In humans the 6 and 9 gram doses of Turkey Tail mushrooms was effective.
      The mushrooms were capsules provided by Paul Stamets company Host Defense.
      They are available online.
      You can always give some of the My Community type along with the Turkey Tail to increase the immune support.
      Don’t know the dose for dogs, would want to ramp up slowly as when cancer cells die off they can make the patient feel worse for a while.

      I personally know one person with a form of skin cancer that could not be surgically removed that healed completely on the Turkey Tail, ( 4 parts, to 1 part), My Community mushroom combo.

  5. Does anyone else love that Dr. Greger called people out on their “crap?”

    ‘…those who abuse their bodies with unhealthy diets can lower their risk by eating powerful plants. Of course, it’s better to cut the CRAP out altogether.’

    Mmmm. That’s gold

    1. Yes, I noticed that, too.

      Felt like the smoker’s pee and crap went together.

      It has been too hot to let my sick dog outside, even at 7 PM, so I have been dealing with a lot of crap.

      I just ordered enzymes with trypsin, chromotrypsin and I can’t remember what the third thing was. I re-watched “Healing Cancer from the Inside Out” and those were the enzymes they said ate the cell wall of the Cancers. Then, I went to PubMed and there was a mice study where they lived if they had the enzymes and died if they didn’t get them. I know that mice and dog studies don’t always correlate, but I am going to try it.

      I also found a recipe to make my own pill pockets, because even the natural peanut butter flavored ones have animal products in them and I am going to also be trying more food recipes, and getting rid of the Halo, because of the Olive oil in it.

      If I am going to give this a real try, I have to make my own food, which has succeeded sometimes and failed other times. He loves peas and sweet potatoes and artichoke and doesn’t mind broccoli and bell peppers and kale and eats chickpeas and lentils and barley, but I made up a big batch of the foods all mixed together last time and he wouldn’t eat it.

      Gotta keep trying to figure it out. This time, I am not adding any spices. That might help.

      The vet felt like he is still dying and that the red blood cell and liver numbers were a ticking time bomb proving it is still slowly progressing.

      I am not going to do every single thing, but the enzymes were 100% died without them and high percentages were still alive with them. That is good enough.

  6. I know this is a different subject, I’m with a friend, she is not believing what I say you say RE: olive oil!
    She wants to know how many studies support the breakdown off endothelial lining of blood vessels. Why would hospitals say olive oil is fine ? ( for myself, I think hospitals could heal all or most cancers if everyone was plant based, I also think, they need to keep everyone in the dark because $$$ rules this world and they would be out of a job) please write this to me at
    My friend is Greek and she had Ovarian cancer, is in remission but she votes with mainstream medicine.

    1. Have you tried showing your friend videos of the paralyzed endothelial cells?

      Dr McDougall also said that it is something, which causes Cancer to grow in studies.

      I will tell you that none of my family believe any of it. It is frustrating sometimes, because they won’t try it even with health issues.

  7. I found your website from another website called using your info there, is that site relates to yours? If it is not related to your site, It has adsense code there to make money from your content, just let you know.

  8. Turmeric and curcumin adulteration is quite common nowadays. The American Botanical Council’s bulletin on turmeric has a lot of data on adulteration. Consumers should buy these products from companies with strict quality control procedures.

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