Efficacy of Turmeric as Adjuvant Therapy in Type 2 Diabetic Patients


It is known that there is a significant interplay of insulin resistance, oxidative stress, dyslipidemia, and inflammation in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The study was undertaken to investigate the effect of turmeric as an adjuvant to anti-diabetic therapy. Sixty diabetic subjects on metformin therapy were recruited and randomized into two groups (30 each). Group I received standard metformin treatment while group II was on standard metformin therapy with turmeric (2 g) supplements for 4 weeks. The biochemical parameters were assessed at the time of recruitment for study and after 4 weeks of treatment. Turmeric supplementation in metformin treated type 2 diabetic patient significantly decreased fasting glucose (95 ± 11.4 mg/dl, P < 0.001) and HbA1c levels (7.4 ± 0.9 %, P < 0.05). Turmeric administered group showed reduction in lipid peroxidation, MDA (0.51 ± 0.11 µmol/l, P < 0.05) and enhanced total antioxidant status (511 ± 70 µmol/l, P < 0.05). Turmeric also exhibited beneficial effects on dyslipidemia LDL cholesterol (113.2 ± 15.3 mg/dl, P < 0.01), non HDL cholesterol (138.3 ± 12.1 mg/dl, P < 0.05) and LDL/HDL ratio (3.01 ± 0.61, P < 0.01) and reduced inflammatory marker, hsCRP (3.4 ± 2.0 mg/dl, P < 0.05). Turmeric supplementation as an adjuvant to T2DM on metformin treatment had a beneficial effect on blood glucose, oxidative stress and inflammation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Wild S, Roglic G, Green A. Global prevalence of diabetes: estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care. 2004;27:1047–53.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Nicholas SB. Lipid disorders in obesity. Curr Hypertens Rep. 1999;1:131–6.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Evans JL, Maddux BA, Goldfine ID. The molecular basis for oxidative stress-induced insulin resistance. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2005;7:1040–52.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Rowais NA. Herbal medicine in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Saudi Med J. 2002;23:1327–31.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Shishodia S, Sethi G, Aggarwal B. Curcumin: getting back to the roots. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2005;1056:206–17.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Khopde SM, Priyadarsini P, Venkatesan, et al. Free radical scavenging ability and antioxidant efficiency of curcumin and its substituted analogue. Biophys Chem. 1999;80:85–9.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Aggarwal BB, Kumar A, Harti ACB. Anticancer potential of curcumin: preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2003;23:363–98.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Stuart P. Dietary circumin significantly improves obesity associated inflammation and diabetes in mouse models of diabesity. J Endocrinol. 2008;149(7):3549–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Wickenberg J. Effects of Curcuma longa (turmeric) on postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in healthy subjects. Nutr J. 2010;9:43.

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Friedewald WT, Levy RI, Fredrickson DS. Estimation of the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in plasma, without use of the preparative ultracentrifuge. Clin Chem. 1972;18:499–502.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Matthews DR, Hosker JP, Rudenski AS. Homeostasis model assessment: insulin resistance and beta-cell function from fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations in man. Diabetologia. 1985;28:412–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Beutler E, Duron OM, Kelly B. Improved method for determination of blood glutathione. J Lab Clin Med. 1963;61:882–8.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Aebi H. Catalase in vitro. Methods Enzymol. 1984;105:121–6.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Yagi K. Assay for blood, plasma or serum lipid peroxides. Methods Enzymol. 1984;105:28–31.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Iris F, Benzie F. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of ‘‘antioxidant power’’: the FRAP assay. Anal Biochem. 1996;239:70–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Reznick AZ, Packer L. Oxidative damage to protein: spectrophotometric method for carbonyl assay. Methods Enzymol. 1994;233:357–63.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Wendel A. Glutathione peroxidase. Methods Enzymol. 1981;77:325–33.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Parviz K. Oral supplementation of turmeric attenuates proteinuria, transforming growth factor-b and interleukin-8 levels in patients with overt type 2 diabetic nephropathy: a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2011;45:365–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Fujiwara H. Curcumin inhibits glucose production in isolated mice hepatocytes. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2000;80:185–90.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Sushil K, Justin R, Kimberly J. Effect of curcumin on protein glycosylation, lipid peroxidation, and oxygen radical generation in human red blood cells exposed to high glucose levels. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006;41(1):92–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Griesmacher A, Kindhauser M, Andert SE. Enhanced serum levels of thiobarbituric-acid-reactive substances in diabetes mellitus. Am J Med. 1995;98:475–96.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Sekeroglu H, Sahin H. The effect of dietary treatment on erythrocyte lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and serum lipid peroxidation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clin Biochem. 2000;33:669–74.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Sreejayan Rao MN. Curcuminoids as potent inhibitors of lipid peroxidation. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1994;46:1013–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Masuda T, Maekawa T. Chemical studies on antioxidant mechanisms of curcumin: analysis of oxidative coupling products from curcumin and linoleate. J Agric Food Chem. 2001;49:2539–47.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Arun N. Efficacy of turmeric on blood sugar and polyol pathway in diabetic albino rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2002;57:41–52.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Assmann G, Schulte H. The prospective cardiovascular munster (PROCAM) study: prevalence of hyperlipidemia in persons with hypertension and/or diabetes mellitus and the relationship to coronary heart disease. Am Heart J. 1988;116:1713–24.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Ramirez Bosca A, Soler A, Carrion-Gutierrez MA. An hydroalcoholic extract of Curcuma longa lowers the abnormally high values of human-plasma fibrinogen. Mech Ageing Dev. 2000;114(3):207–10.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Tortosa MC, Mesa MD, Aguilera MC. Oral administration of a turmeric extract inhibits LDL oxidation and has hypocholesterolemic effects in rabbits with experimental atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis. 1999;147:371–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Corrado E, Rizzo M, Muratori I, Coppola G, Novo S. Association of elevated fibrinogen and C-reactive protein levels with carotid lesions in patients with newly diagnosed hypertension or type II diabetes. Arch Med Res. 2006;37:1004–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Ahmad J, Ahmed F, Siddiqui MA. Inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and carotid intima-media thickness in North-Indian type 2 diabetic subjects. J Assoc Physicians India. 2007;55:693–9.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Farah R, Shurtz-Swirski R, Lapin O. Intensification of oxidative stress and inflammation in type 2 diabetes despite antihyperglycemic treatment. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2008;22:7–20.

    Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Huang MT, Lysz T, Ferraro T. Inhibitory effects of curcumin on in vitro lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase activities in mouse epidermis. Cancer Res. 1991;51:813–9.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Chun KS, Keum YS, Han SS, Song YS, Kim SH, Surh YJ. Curcumin inhibits phorbol ester-induced expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in mouse skin through suppression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity and NF-kappaB activation. Carcinogenesis. 2003;24:1515–24.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Lee KW, Kim JH, Lee HJ, Surh YJ. Curcumin inhibits phorbol ester-induced upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 by blocking ERK1/2 phosphorylation and NF-kappaB transcriptional activity in MCF10A human breast epithelial cells. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2005;7:1612–20.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India for providing financial support in the form of Junior Research Fellowship to Mrs. Maithili karpaga selvi. N. The authors thank Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) for providing the necessary infrastructure for the study. We also thank C-CAMP, NCBS, Bangalore for quantification of curcumin in turmeric extract.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. G. Sridhar.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Maithili Karpaga Selvi, N., Sridhar, M.G., Swaminathan, R.P. et al. Efficacy of Turmeric as Adjuvant Therapy in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Ind J Clin Biochem 30, 180–186 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12291-014-0436-2

Download citation


  • Diabetes
  • Turmeric
  • Metformin
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Inflammation