Background: Previous animal studies have shown that Curcuma (C.) longa lowers plasma glucose. C. longa may thus be a promising ingredient in functional foods aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes. The purpose of the study is to study the effect of C. longa on postprandial plasma glucose, insulin levels and glycemic index (GI) in healthy subjects.
Methods: Fourteen healthy subjects were assessed in a crossover trial. A standard 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was administered together with capsules containing a placebo or C. longa. Finger-prick capillary and venous blood samples were collected before, and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 min after the start of the OGTT to measure the glucose and insulin levels, respectively.
Results: The ingestion of 6 g C. longa had no significant effect on the glucose response. The change in insulin was significantly higher 30 min (P = 0.03) and 60 min (P = 0.041) after the OGTT including C. longa. The insulin AUCs were also significantly higher after the ingestion of C. longa, 15 (P = 0.048), 30 (P = 0.035), 90 (P = 0.03), and 120 (P = 0.02) minutes after the OGTT.
Conclusions: The ingestion of 6 g C. longa increased postprandial serum insulin levels, but did not seem to affect plasma glucose levels or GI, in healthy subjects. The results indicate that C. longa may have an effect on insulin secretion.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01029327.