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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." ~ Thomas Edison
A remarkable new study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reveals the immense value of the ancient spice turmeric in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and the reversal of pathological states linked to its most deadly complication: atherosclerotic heart disease.
The new study titled, "Reduction of atherogenic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes by curcuminoid extract: a randomized controlled trial,"[i] dovetails nicely with a 2012 study published in the American Diabetes Association's own journal, Diabetes Care, which found turmeric 100% effective in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics over the course of a six month intervention with curcumin.
In the new study, researchers from Thailand conducted a 6-month randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled clinical trial comprised of 226 subjects diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (mean duration of the disease ~ 6 years), equally divided into a treatment (113) and placebo group (113). They aimed to explore the role that the golden-hued polyphenol found in turmeric known as curcumin might play in preventing atherosclerosis, by measuring its effects on the following parameters of atherogenic risk:
- Pulse Wave Velocity: a measure of arterial stiffness, which a strong correlation to cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality.  
- Markers of Inflammation: Changes in the level of anti-inflammatory adipocytokines were tracked (increased adiponectin or decreased leptin)
- Insulin Resistance: Measured by the homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) scale.
- Triglyceride levels
- Uric acid levels
- Abdominal obesity (Visceral fat and Total body fat)
All subjects in the trial were randomly assigned to either the curcumin-treated group (intervention condition) or the placebo-treated group (control condition), as follows:
"All participants were instructed to take three capsules with blinded labels of eithercurcumin or placebo twice a day (total of six capsules per day) for 6 months continuously. Each curcumin capsule has curcuminoid content of 250 mg. Each placebo capsule contains 250 mg of starch. Patients were asked to bring all capsules back when having follow-up visits at 3 and 6 months for assessing their compliance."
The researchers monitored adverse effects during the study period by tracking changes in body weight, blood pressure (systolic/diastolic blood pressure), kidney function (creatinine) and liver functions (AST and ALT), but found no indication of adverse changes in the curcumin group. In fact, ALT was actually lower in the curcumin group, indicating it may have improved liver function – an unsurprisingly finding considering, given turmeric's well-known liver healing properties. They also noticed at the last follow-up visit (6 months after intervention) improvements in other metabolic parameters:
"[W]e noticed slight reductions of mean body weight, BMI, WC [weight circumference] lipid profiles (total cholesterol, LDL-C) and blood glucose profiles (FPG and HbA1c) and a slight increase of HDL-C from the group of patients treated with curcumin. We did not see such patterns from the placebo-treated group (Online Supplemental Material in Table 2). All together, these results indicated that curcumin extract can be used for intervention, at least for a period of 6 months, without any serious unwanted effect."
In other words, the intervention not only did not have any discernable adverse side effects, but it appeared to have lasting side benefits beyond the study's main parameters.