A Spicy Diet May Help Diabetics

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Like a little spice in your food? New research shows the ingredient that gives curry sauce its zing may help with diabetes.

Turmeric, an Asian spice commonly used in curries, has been said to help with healing and relieving pain and inflammation. Now a recent study by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center reveals the herb may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Endocrinologist Drew Tortoriello and his colleagues tested a series of diabetic mice and found that "spice mice," or those fed with turmeric, showed faster and greater improvements.

"We noticed a very significant drop in their blood sugars," he said. "After two weeks of consuming curcumin orally, their diabetes was essentially gone."

The results suggested that curcumin, which is found in turmeric, gave the mice a better glucose and insulin tolerance. It may also have reduced some effects of obesity in the mice.

The "spice mice" study was presented at an annual Endocrine Society meeting and will appear in a future issue of the journal, Endocrinology.

Tortoriello plans to analyze results on humans next.

Sources: ABC News, Food Consumer

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