Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not curcumin can manage and prevent major complications for type 2 diabetics or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in pre-diabetics.

Study Design: Review of two English articles and one English/Italian article. Two were double-blinded, randomized control trials (RCTs) and one was a controlled, therapeutic protocol registry in which subjects were allowed to choose to be in the experimental group. All were published after 2012.

Data Sources: Both RCTs and the controlled, registry study were found through PubMed.

Outcomes measured: This review assessed whether curcumin could delay the progression of prediabetes to diabetes, prevent the onset of obesity and reduce the degree of vision loss in type 2 diabetics. The following were measured by tallying the number of subjects who developed type 2 diabetes, measuring waist circumference, and comparing scores on the Snellen eye chart respectively.

Results: With regards to preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, the ARR demonstrated that there was a 16% absolute decrease in the risk of developing it, but it is also not a large risk reduction since most of the subjects on placebo did not progress to type 2 diabetes anyway. The difference in the number of subjects who progressed to type 2 diabetes was still statistically significant. The difference in waist circumference was not statistically significant, but only subjects taking curcumin had any reduction in their waist circumference. The difference in the degree of vison loss between control and experimental groups was statistically significant, but the sample size was too small to assume the results would be generalizable to the larger population.

Conclusions: These studies demonstrate that curcumin is beneficial with no significant adverse reactions. The evidence is still inconclusive because of the following limitations; study duration of less than a year, sample populations that were based outside of the US, and small sample size. Future studies should include a more diverse study population and observe the effects of curcumin for a longer period of time.