ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Get to Know the Pap Test
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
CAREGIVING
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Study Supports Swine Flu's Pandemic Potential
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Optimism May Boost Immune System
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
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Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Spices may do more than flavor your food: New research suggests a shake of this and a pinch of that could also boost the health of diabetics.

Researchers bought 24 herbs and spices and found that many appear to have the power to inhibit tissue damage and inflammation brought on by high blood-sugar levels in the body.

The study didn't examine the direct effects of spices on diabetics. Also, spices are typically used in small amounts, making it unclear if those who eat them would get much benefit.

Still, "this gives people a tool to work with in terms of keeping their health as they want it to be," said study co-author James Hargrove, an associate professor at the University of Georgia.

Hargrove and his colleagues were intrigued by spices because they're rich in antioxidants, which are thought to protect cells from damage. "One can put a lot of antioxidant power into meals by using spices" without making people fatter, he said. "Because of the way they're prepared, herbs and spices tend to have low calorie contents."

In addition, spices are cheaper than many other food products, he said.

The researchers decided to look into the anti-inflammatory properties of spices. "We said, 'Let's just go to Wal-Mart, get all the McCormick brand spices we can find, and check those. That was as complicated as our study design was."

The findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food.

In laboratory tests, the researchers found that many of the spices and extracts appeared to inhibit a process known as glycation, which has been linked to inflammation and tissue damage in diabetics.

The spices that seemed most likely to help diabetics included cloves, cinnamon (previously pegged as a possible blood-sugar reducer), allspice, apple pie spice and pumpkin pie spice, Hargrove said. Top herbs included marjoram, sage and thyme.

Other spices and herbs were "still rich compared to other foods" when it comes to the effect, he said.

Lona Sandon, national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, said that while research does suggest that spices are high in antioxidants and may reduce blood-sugar levels, it's difficult to make recommendations about how much to use.

Even so, "I say add as much herbs and spices as your taste buds and tummy can take," she said. "They add flavor and fun to foods without adding calories or fat. Their potential for promoting health outweighs any risks, unless, of course, you have an allergy to a particular spice."

More information

Learn about the history of spices from the University of California at Los Angeles.



SOURCES: James Hargrove, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, The University of Georgia, Athens; Lona Sandon, ME.d., R.D., assistant professor, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, and national spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association, Dallas; June 2008, Journal of Medicinal Food

Last Updated: Oct. 17, 2008

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