ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Drink Away Dementia?
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Add your Article

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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