Can Turmeric Help You Manage Diabetes?

turmeric for diabetes

It’s looking very hopeful. Turmeric’s active component is curcumin. And studies have found curcumin associated with some really promising effects. But while using turmeric for diabetes could help, it probably won’t score you a miracle – yet.

The Research

In 2013, researchers published a paper entitled Curcumin and Diabetes: A Systematic Review. They analyzed over 200 studies that resulted from a search for “curcumin and diabetes” on Medline. And the results were amazing.

Not every study supported curcumin’s effectiveness. But most of them did, and in many areas of concern for diabetics. For instance, glycemic control, neuropathy, and nephropathy (i.e., blood sugar levels, nerve damage, and kidney damage) were just some of the areas that benefited from curcumin.

They also mentioned curcumin’s protective role in islet necrosis. Islet cells are the cells that produce insulin. That’s huge.

The paper’s conclusion called for more human studies to test curcumin on the full range of diabetes issues. (Some, but not all, of these studies were performed on diabetes-prone rats.) They also recommended research into ways to make curcumin more bioavailable.

And these researchers were so impressed with what they found that they predicted the development of a “super curcumin.” A targeted, bioavailable, and possibly even plant-derived treatment for diabetes.

What’s the Catch?

The miracle version of turmeric for diabetes isn’t here yet. And more research is needed. And there are warnings:

Warning – Doses of curcumin above 4 grams per day may cause gastrointestinal distress.

Warning – If you have gallbladder problems, turmeric might make them worse.

Warning – Eating turmeric in hefty amounts can hurt your liver.

So if you decide to try turmeric or supplement with curcumin extract, don’t forget to clear it with your medical team.


The future use of turmeric for diabetes looks very hopeful. And even now it may be helpful for you. But heed the warnings. And if you want to go beyond cooking with turmeric, talk it over with your doctor.