Chillies for diabetes: Study

Researchers from Tasmania, Australia are recruiting volunteers in a study to explore if eating chillies can help control lifestyle-related diabetes. At present they need 35 people with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance.

Participants will start eating their normal diet then introduce 30 grams of chilli paste into their food every day. During the study volunteers will be asked to observe a “bland diet” for one week, followed by a “chilli diet” in the second week. At each visit volunteers will have their fasting bloods tested for glucose, cholesterol and insulin and have some blood pressure measurements performed.

An earlier study has shown that chilli consumption helps lower the heart rate and reduces the amount of insulin required to control blood sugar. According to researcher Sibella King the benefits may be even more pronounced for those with lifestyle-related diabetes. “What we're hoping is that people with diabetes, or people who are glucose intolerant, it'll prove to be more beneficial for them in terms of controlling their blood sugar and this in turn leads to, we hope, a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors… What we've seen in previous studies of people who are healthy, is that chilli was able to reduce the amount of insulin needed to control the blood sugar and it was able to reduce the heart rate,” she explained. She added that this would be a cheap an easy way to control lifestyle-related diabetes.

Dr Kiran Ahuja, another researcher involved in the study also said, “In future, this simple dietary addition may assist in the management of the increasingly common and serious conditions of diabetes and heart disease… Based on our earlier research, we anticipate that the consumption of chilli by people with impaired glucose tolerance and type-2 diabetes will provide significant improvements in post meal blood glucose, insulin and other risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.”

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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