03:25am Thursday 21 November 2019

Chilli could be diabetes “wonder drug”


Researchers at the University of Tasmania are calling for volunteers brave enough to sample spicy food in the name of science.

School of Human Life Science researchers Dr Kiran Ahuja and PhD candidate Sibella King are investigating whether people living with impaired glucose tolerance, or type-2 diabetes show better health results after eating a small quantity of chilli.

Dr Ahuja said previous research on healthy people led the team to believe the humble chilli could have a positive impact on those living with type-2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance.

“In future, this simple dietary addition may assist in the management of the increasingly common and serious conditions of diabetes and heart disease,” Dr Ahuja said.

 “Based on our earlier research, we anticipate that the consumption of chilli by people with impaired glucose tolerance and type-2 diabetes will provide significant improvements in post meal blood glucose, insulin and other risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.”

However, in order to further their research, Dr Ahuja and Ms King need volunteers – the study is suitable for men and women aged between 35 and 70 years who have been diagnosed with:

  • Impaired glucose tolerance   and/or
  • Type -2 diabetes   (no insulin use)

The study runs for two weeks and involves participants visiting the University’s Launceston campus three times. 

During the study volunteers will be asked to observe a “bland diet” for one week, followed by a “chilli diet” in the second week.

At each visit volunteers will have their fasting bloods tested for glucose, cholesterol and insulin and have some blood pressure measurements performed. 

At the end of the study, participants will be given some of their test results such as cholesterol, glucose, insulin, and blood pressure.

If you would like to be involved in the study, or would like more information please contact:

Dr. Kiran Ahuja on (03) 6324 5478            email kiran.ahuja@utas.edu.au


Ms. Sibella King on (03) 6324 3688;          email sibella.king@utas.edu.au

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