Home Medizin Die aromatischen Kräuter der Mittelmeerdiät senken den Blutzucker

Die aromatischen Kräuter der Mittelmeerdiät senken den Blutzucker

von NFI Redaktion

In a recent study published in the journal Nutrients, researchers from Spain examined the impact of aromatic herbs and spices in the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) on the glycemic profiles of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). They found that black cumin, cinnamon, ginger, curcumin, and saffron significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels. Additionally, they found that black cumin and ginger significantly improved the glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in T2DM patients, while cinnamon and ginger significantly decreased insulin concentrations.

Spicing up diabetes management: Mediterranean diet's aromatic herbs lower blood sugar

Rückblick: Veränderungen der Essenspräferenzen und des Aufnahmeverhaltens nach der Behandlung mit Glucagon-ähnlichen Peptid-1-Analoga: Techniken und Möglichkeiten. Bildnachweis: aboikis / Shutterstoc


T2DM is a serious health issue affecting 460 million people worldwide. The prevalence has increased sharply over the past four decades, leading to three or more comorbidities in 60% of patients ten years after diagnosis and causing 6.7 million deaths annually. Various risk factors, including genetics, metabolism, and environment, influence the disease. While non-modifiable factors such as ethnicity and family history play a role, addressing modifiable risk factors like lack of physical activity, obesity, and unhealthy diet may prevent T2DM. Nutritional counseling is crucial for improving the lifespan and quality of life of patients.

The MedDiet emphasizes high consumption of extra virgin olive oil, carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, and moderate intake of fish, poultry, and dairy products. Additionally, red meat and alcohol consumption are restricted. There is evidence that MedDiet can positively influence the metabolic syndrome and T2DM, reflected in lower diabetes risk and improved glycemic profiles. The diet includes various aromatic herbs and spices like black cumin, clove, parsley, saffron, thyme, ginger, black pepper, rosemary, turmeric, basil, oregano, and cinnamon, known for their potential health benefits, including anti-tumor, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Therefore, the researchers in this study aimed to examine the effects of all these aromatic herbs and spices on the glycemic profiles of T2DM patients.

About the Study

For the systematic review and meta-analysis, databases like Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus were used to identify peer-reviewed articles and interventional studies. Case studies, comments, letters, conference papers, narrative reviews, and studies not conducted on humans or children were excluded. The systematic review included 77 studies, while the meta-analysis included 45 studies (3050 participants).

The studies included different dosages of spices and herbs and assessed their effects on the glycemic profile. Primary endpoints included fasting glucose, insulin, and HbA1c changes, while secondary endpoints included fluctuations in body weight and body mass index (BMI). Statistical analysis involved determining mean and standard deviation changes, using Cochrane Q and Higgins I² tests. The risk of publication bias was assessed using Egger diagrams. The quality of the included studies was evaluated based on the methodology described by Kmet et al.

Results and Discussion

A cinnamon supplement significantly reduced fasting glucose levels in six out of eleven studies. The meta-analysis showed a reduction of 18.67 mg/dl compared to placebo, but the difference was not statistically significant in terms of predictive value. Curcumin supplementation demonstrated a significant reduction in fasting glucose levels in seven studies (p < 0.001) compared to placebo, with a significant difference, including predictive value. A ginger supplement showed a reduction in fasting glucose levels in ten studies (17.12 mg/dl, p = 0.0004) compared to placebo, without a significant difference, including predictive value. In eight studies, black cumin supplementation led to a significant reduction in fasting glucose levels compared to placebo (p = 0.0001), without a significant difference considering the predictive value. Taking saffron as a dietary supplement resulted in a significant reduction in blood sugar levels, an effect enhanced when combined with physical activity. Overall, black cumin showed the most significant reduction in fasting glucose levels, followed by cinnamon and ginger.

Furthermore, only ginger and black cumin showed a significant improvement in HbA1c, and cinnamon and ginger significantly decreased insulin levels. Among the analyzed aromatic herbs and spices in the MedDiet, ginger stood out as the only factor contributing to a significant reduction in all three outcomes studied: HbA1c, fasting glucose, and insulin levels.

The quality of the studies selected for review (average score 0.54) was lower than the quality of the studies selected for the meta-analysis (average score 0.68). Despite the extensive scope of the study, the results are limited by the lack of consideration of body weight and lifestyle changes affecting fasting glucose levels, as well as challenges posed by varying study quality, inadequate statistical analyses, and the absence of standardized information on herb dosages.


In conclusion, the study identified the potential therapeutic benefits of various aromatic herbs and spices in the MedDiet for diabetes treatment. Further research is needed to determine optimal dosages and evaluate the effects of the active components of herbs and spices to facilitate their use in targeted interventions for blood sugar control in T2DM patients.

Journal Reference:

  • Impact of Aromatic Herbs and Spices in the Mediterranean Diet on Glycemic Profile in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Garza MC et al., Nutrients 16(6):756 (2024), DOI: 10.3390/nu16060756, https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/16/6/756

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