Curcumin, coffee, diabetes, obesity…

I receive all sorts of daily alerts and newsletters. Frequently I am simply overwhelmed with too much information and don’t have the time, unfortunately, to examine it all. Including, I regret to say, some of my blog readers’ links. Well, I do my best! If only I could teach my cats to use Internet…!


Anyway, yesterday was the birthday of Florence’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist, so I didn’t go to work (in fact, the company was closed on Monday as well, which made this a four-day holiday, hurray). Since Florence is one of the hottest cities in Italy this week (yesterday we had a Stage 3 heat wave alert, and I think we are still in the red zone today…feels like it, at any rate!), I was happy to stay inside under my ceiling fan and do some catching up, reading and writing. So glad I am NOT a tourist in Florence today…


Curcumin, obesity and diabetes. One of the items I read was a Eureka alert ( on curcumin and diabetes. A group of Columbia University Medical Center scientists lead by Dr. Drew Tortoriello, an endocrinologist, discovered that turmeric-treated mice were less susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes, based on their blood glucose levels, and glucose and insulin tolerance tests. They also discovered that turmeric-fed obese mice showed significantly reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver compared to controls. They speculate that curcumin, the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant ingredient in turmeric, lessens insulin resistance and prevents Type 2 diabetes in these mouse models by dampening the inflammatory response provoked by obesity. I am now curious to read their results, to be published soon in “Endocrinology.”


Very interesting topic. My glucose levels are perfect, but they have always been within the normal range, so I can’t say that I have noticed a huge difference. Yes, a bit lower compared to before, but I doubt there is much statistical significance.


And the link between inflammation and obesity is also interesting: Curcumin administration was also associated with a small but significant decline in body weight and fat content, despite level or higher calorie consumption, suggesting that curcumin beneficially influences body composition.


I am going to try to keep an eye on the work of these scientists because they are exploring novel methods of curcumin administration to increase its absorption, and are also interested in identifying novel anti-inflammatory processes invoked by curcumin and in adapting those processes in the development of more potent curcumin analogues. Yeah!


Drink coffee! Another item of interest to those of us, especially women!, who drink coffee is that apparently we will live longer. Have a look at this HealthDay article: Okay, you may well object that this holds true probably only for healthy folks since all the Spanish study participants were free of heart disease and cancer, but hey, every little bit counts. And besides, I will never tire of repeating this!, caffeine inhibits angiogenesis, an important tumour-feeding process.


Another bit of recent research shows that drinking coffee lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Okay, so myeloma may kill me in the end, but these studies indicate that thanks to my coffee and curcumin intake I will die without a trace of diabetes and probably with a healthy heart. Small consolation, perhaps…but after all, chi s’accontenta, gode (I found a not-very-good English translation of that Italian saying: there’s no point in complaining…). Eh!


  1. That’s the first time I’ve known you to write that – the very
    OK,even Methuselah died in the end,but come on Margaret,
    You are sending a chill through me with this sort of comment.
    I have just planted a tree peony in my garden – they take
    5 years to flower and I’m looking forward to that day.
    We do not know will be discovered next year,or even
    tomorrow,but I’ll bet you will be one of the first to find out,
    and I hope I will still be here when you do.

    Take care and look after yourself (and Stefano and the
    children and the old folk).
    With every good wish,

    Old Bill Methuselah.

  2. Sorry, Old Bill, I didn’t mean to give you a fit of the chillies. Not at all. After reading those two articles, my quirky sense of humour got the better of me…but I should have put a smiley face 🙂 at the end of my last paragraph. Quite right.

    Anyway, as my sister wrote, I will turn out to be a very old lady…

    You take care, too, and take very good care of your peony. We have a lot to discover and discuss in the next five (plus!) years!
    🙂 Margaret

  3. Hi Margaret,
    Happy St. John the Baptist day! I don’t know if he’s the same John the Baptist as in the scriptures but if he is, he’s one of my favorite people! He had courage in the face of adversity…I like that!

    I’m REALLY happy to hear about curcumin and its affect on obesity! I’m still awaiting those results! : )

    I asked my oncologist yesterday about a SOX2 antibody test. He’d never heard of SOX2 but wrote down the name. I’m hoping he will check on it and let me know. Sadly, it appears if its not “standard procedure” they’re not going to know much about it.

    Have you or any of your readers ever heard or tried Vitamin B-17? It’s most commonly found in apricot seeds as I understand. It’s touted to be another cancer killer. Just curious.

    About your last paragraph…As I told my doctor shortly after my diagnosis, it’s not the dying that bothers me (we’re all going from something) it’s getting there that bothers me! : ) It is my hope that we all will be as healthy as we can be for as long as we can.

    Thanks for all the wonderful info you share with us! Stay cool on these hot summer days! Donna

  4. I was looking up curcumin when I came upon your site. Sounds helpful. To Donna, heard about apricot seeds several times now. Maybe if you have a juicer, you could add some apricots to your juice (seed and all). But I wonder if there is anything harmful in the seed. Maybe what might be harmful to one person may have a different effect on someone else. After all an aspirin can relieve a headache or it can eat away at your stomach lining. Just a thought.

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