Spices in the management of diabetes mellitus

Food Chem. 2017 Feb 15;217:281-293. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.08.111. Epub 2016 Aug 29.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) remains a major health care problem worldwide both in developing and developed countries. Many factors, including age, obesity, sex, and diet, are involved in the etiology of DM. Nowadays, drug and dietetic therapies are the two major approaches used for prevention and control of DM. Compared to drug therapy, a resurgence of interest in using diet to manage and treat DM has emerged in recent years. Conventional dietary methods to treat DM include the use of culinary herbs and/or spices. Spices have long been known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties. This review explores the anti-diabetic properties of commonly used spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and cumin, and the use of these spices for prevention and management of diabetes and associated complications.

Keywords: Anti-diabetic; Anti-inflammatory; Antioxidant; Diabetes mellitus; Spices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Spices*


  • Antioxidants
  • Hypoglycemic Agents