Study Reveals Mediterranean Diet’s Aromatic Herbs’ Impact on Blood Sugar Management

by Ella

Researchers from Spain have uncovered promising findings regarding the impact of aromatic herbs and spices commonly found in the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) on the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Their study, published in the journal Nutrients, highlights the significant role of black cumin, cinnamon, ginger, curcumin, and saffron in lowering blood sugar levels among T2DM patients.


Type 2 diabetes remains a global healthcare challenge, affecting millions worldwide and contributing to numerous comorbidities and fatalities annually. While genetic and environmental factors influence its onset, modifiable risk factors such as poor diet and sedentary lifestyles play a crucial role. Dietary interventions, particularly those emphasizing the MedDiet, have shown promise in improving metabolic health and reducing diabetes risk.


The Mediterranean diet, characterized by high consumption of olive oil, low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, and moderate intake of fish and poultry, is renowned for its health benefits. A key aspect of this diet is the incorporation of aromatic herbs and spices, which are known for their potential therapeutic properties, including antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.


Study Methodology:

The research team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis, encompassing 77 studies and involving 3050 participants. Various databases were utilized to identify relevant peer-reviewed articles and interventional studies focusing on the impact of aromatic herbs and spices on glycemic profiles in T2DM patients.


Results and Discussion:

Analysis revealed that black cumin, cinnamon, ginger, curcumin, and saffron supplementation led to significant reductions in fasting blood glucose levels among T2DM patients. Notably, black cumin and ginger demonstrated improvements in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, while cinnamon and ginger were associated with decreased insulin concentrations.


Among the spices studied, ginger emerged as particularly noteworthy, exhibiting significant reductions in all three examined outcomes: HbA1c, fasting glucose, and insulin levels. However, the quality of the studies varied, and certain limitations, such as inadequate consideration of lifestyle factors and inconsistent dosage information, were noted.


The study underscores the potential therapeutic benefits of aromatic herbs and spices, particularly within the context of the MedDiet, for managing diabetes. Further research is warranted to establish optimal dosages and identify the active components responsible for these beneficial effects, thereby facilitating targeted interventions for glycemic control in T2DM patients.



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