Curcumin-piperine combination may offer blood sugar benefits for diabetics: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© ThamKC / Getty Images
© ThamKC / Getty Images

Related tags Curcumin Turmeric piperine Blood sugar management

A combination of extracts from turmeric and black pepper may improve fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) in people with type-2 diabetes, says a new study from Brazil.

Four months of supplementation with 500 mg per day of Curcuma longa​ L. plus 5 mg per day of piperine led to reductions in fasting venous glycaemia (FVG) of 6.6 mg/dL and a 0.1% decrease in HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin), a marker of long-term presence of excess glucose in the blood.

In addition, a 20% reduction in mean triglyceride values was observed in the turmeric group after 120 days of supplementation, according to findings published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

“Insulin showed no significant decrease during the intervention, but HOMA-IR levels, which clinically represent insulin resistance, presented a significant decrease in the EG, from 6.1 to 5.5 (p=.037),” ​wrote scientists from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the University for International Integration of the Afro Brazilian Lusophony, the State University of Ceara, Fortaleza, and the University of Piauı,

“This finding is corroborated by most of the studies published, demonstrating the importance of curcumin in improving the function of pancreatic beta-cells in diabetic patients by decreasing the HOMA-IR index.”

$140+ million in sales

The study adds to the ever-growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of turmeric and curcumin.

According to the 2019 Herb Market Report​ published by the American Botanical Council (HerbalGram​ 127), turmeric is the number two selling herb in the natural channel, with $48.1 million in sales. It is number four in the mass channel (MULO) with $92.4 million in sales.

Study details

The Brazil-based researchers recruited 71 people with a medical diagnosis of type-2 diabetes to participate in their randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 500 mg per day of a Curcuma longa​ L. dry extract standardized to 90% curcumin (produced by Brazil-based Galena) plus 5mg of piperine in every capsule, or placebo (carboxymethyl cellulose).

Results showed that, after 120 days of intervention, participants in the curcumin group experienced reductions in FVG, these decreases did not reach statistical significance.

“Some experimental studies indicate that curcumin is an effective antidiabetic agent,” ​wrote the researchers. “The role of curcumin in glucose homeostasis is to activate glycolysis, preventing gluconeogenesis and decreasing hepatic lipid metabolism. In addition, it improves insulin sensitivity, reducing insulin resistance and stimulating pancreatic b-cell function.”

Source: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1080/09637486.2021.1885015
“Effectiveness of the piperine-supplemented ​Curcuma longa L. in metabolic control of patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial”
Authors: J. Furtado de Figueiredo Neta et al.

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