UCLA researchers seek men, ages 35 to 70, with Type 2 diabetes to test the effects of turmeric and black pepper on inflammation. Participants must be non-smokers and currently not taking insulin.
Herbs and spices are naturally rich in antioxidants that may be beneficial in preventing the plaque build-up that causes clogged arteries.
According to researchers, high-fat foods can contribute to elevated levels of compounds such as malondialdehyde (MDA) that have been associated with atherosclerosis.
The study will help determine if absorption of MDA in the blood can be reduced by including a spice mixture in a hamburger patty that is representative of a high-fat food. Men with diabetes have been chosen for the study because eating a hamburger patty can easily mimic the condition that causes atherosclerosis in this patient population.
"The study may help explain how high fat foods can be harmful to the body and how beneficial antioxidants from herbs and spices can offer protection," said Dr. David Heber, principal investigator of the study and director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
Participation in the study will last 21 days, including several visits to the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Volunteers will be selected at random (similar to flipping a coin) to consume three test meals over the course of the study.
Participants will complete physicals and blood tests, as well as have body fat measurements taken by standing on a special scale. Volunteers will meet with a registered dietician who will provide instruction in following an American Heart Association low-fat diet during the study.
No outside research funding is being used for the study. Participants will receive up to $300 for participation.
For more information, please call the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition at 310-825-8274.