SYDNEY, July 17 (Xinhua) -- An Australian university is seeking candidates for a clinical study into the use of an Indian spice combined with an omega-3 fat which they believe may delay or prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes.
Health scientists from the University of Newcastle's Nutraceuticals Research Group, led by Professor Manohar Garg, are seeking 80 Australian candidates for a new clinical study to reduce systemic inflammation that impacts the body's insulin secretion and function, the root cause of type-2 diabetes.
"This study will use two bio-active compounds that we find in food - curcumin and omega-3 fat. Both are very important anti- inflammatory agents," Garg said in a release post in the university's website on Thursday.
The randomized control trial will test both compounds, with the test candidates being segregated into four groups, one group will get curcumin only, the second will get omega-3 fat only, the third will receive both, and the fourth will serve as a control group.
"The anti-inflammatory mechanisms surrounding curcumin and omega-3 fats are different, so we want to test if they complement each other and have treatment synergies beyond their individual effects," said Garg, adding "Our thinking is that the combination is safe, free of any side-effects and may prove to be as effective as drugs used for management of diabetes."
Curcumin's healing properties, derived from turmeric, are well known, having been used for centuries to promote the healing of bruises, sprains, wounds and inflammation, Garg said.
"When I was injured or had inflammation as a child, my mother would put a teaspoon of turmeric powder into a glass of milk and make me drink it, I'd get a good sleep and feel better when I woke up," Garg said.
"Nowadays in India the level of curcumin (turmeric) intake has dropped considerably as people switch to Westernized fast foods, and it parallels with a significant rise in type-2 diabetes cases. "
"In fact the disease is now an epidemic in India and may soon be the number one health burden."