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Spices and type 2 diabetes

Abigail Kelble (Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




The paper is a review of current research on phytochemicals and how they may alleviate type 2 diabetes by improving insulin activity in the body.


Literature searches were conducted to find a link between common household spices and type 2 diabetes. Only common household spices were researched so that any link found between spices and type 2 diabetes could lead to practical home‐based recommendations for changes in a person's diet.


Cinnamon, garlic, ginger, basil, oregano, nutmeg, tea, bay leaf, allspice, curry, and others were found to play a role in lowering blood glucose, increasing insulin sensitivity, and increasing glucose synthesis in response to food intake. In addition, these spices may improve blood circulation, decrease platelet aggregation, lower blood pressure, and act as blood vessel protectants, ameliorating the cardiovascular disease often associated with type 2 diabetes. To gain these benefits, only average amounts commonly used in foods are necessary, such as amounts usually sprinkled in foods or amounts used in recipes. At high concentrated doses, the advantages to utilizing spices may be inhibited.


The findings that phytochemicals in common household spices can improve insulin activity in the body present a more natural way to possibly treat and prevent type 2 diabetes.



Kelble, A. (2005), "Spices and type 2 diabetes", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 81-87.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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