Dietary Supplement Containing Mixture of Raw Curry, Garlic, and Ginger Powder Exerts Both Hypoglycaemic and Hypolipidaemic Effect
E Ugwuja, N Ugwu, A Nwibo
E Ugwuja, N Ugwu, A Nwibo. Dietary Supplement Containing Mixture of Raw Curry, Garlic, and Ginger Powder Exerts Both Hypoglycaemic and Hypolipidaemic Effect. The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2007 Volume 5 Number 2.
In a bid to determine the effect of spices mixture on some haematological and biochemical parameters, 20 normal albino rats (all male) weighing 91.9-124.84g assigned into groups I-III and controls and fed on dietary supplement containing 1%, 2%, 5% and 0%, W/W mixture of raw curry, garlic and ginger powder were investigated. Supplementation at all levels had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on body weight, haematological parameters (PCV, Hb and WBC), and serum total protein. However, the spices mixture exerted significantly (p < 0.05), both hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effect at 2% w/w of the supplement beyond which there was significant increases in both mean plasma glucose and serum total cholesterol. Conclusion: While spice mixture containing raw curry, ginger and garlic powder are beneficial at culinary doses, its benefits and safety at higher doses remain unclear.
Since the earliest references to the medicinal and culinary plant in 2600–2100 BC , spices have been used by man for the treatment of various diseases . For example Božidar et. al.  has shown that naturally occurring phenolic compounds, isolated from common spice plants have protective effect against mutagenesis. Again, garlic has been used for the treatment of digestive disorders, infestation with worms and renal disorders, as well as to help mother during difficult childbirth . Also studies have shown that garlic has beneficial effect in controlling hyperlipidaemia in animals [4,5]. A recent study has shown that raw garlic is more beneficial than cooked garlic in reducing blood lipids and glucose levels . Additionally ginger has been shown to improve asthma and both ginger and turmeric have been found to have hypoglycaemic effect . Curcumin, an extract of turmeric, which curry powder is largely composed of, is a traditional dye substance that is receiving lots of modern scientific attention and its effect on diseases and maladies is dramatic . Also known as turmeric, curry is thought to have numerous beneficial health effects, including protecting against Alzheimer's disease . It has been shown that administration of spices mixture (SM) along with fructose diet in rats reduces the levels of peroxidation markers in tissues and improves the antioxidant status . Considering the fact that in Nigeria, spices are seldom consumed as a single flavouring, but rather as part of complex dishes, it seems reasonable to consider the potential synergistic  effects of mixture of spices. This study is therefore aimed at determining the effect of including spices mixture of curry, garlic and ginger powder in the diet of normal albino rats on some haematological and biochemical parameters.
Materials And Methods
Raw spices powder; curry, garlic and ginger were purchased from Abakpa main market in Abakaliki metropolis. The spices were mixed together in equal ratio to form a uniform powder, which is mixed with the feed at varying concentrations. Twenty (20) albino rats (all male) weighing 91.9-124.84g purchased from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria Nsukka were used for the study. The animals, which were maintained at normal diet and tap water ad libitum, were kept under normal environmental condition with illumination from 0700 to 1900 hours for a period of two weeks for acclimatisation before changing to experimental diet. The animals were randomly allotted into any of the three treatment groups (GI-GIII) and fed with the experimental feed containing 1%, 2%, and 5% W/W of the spices mixture while the control animals received only the normal feed. There were five (5) rats in each group. The feed intake was determined by the difference between the quantity of feed supplied and the amount of feed left after feeding. The treatment was for four weeks after which the animals were sacrificed and the blood samples collected for biochemical analyses. Blood samples were collected into EDTA for the determination of packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb) and total white blood cell count (WBC)], fluoride oxalate bottles for the analysis of plasma glucose, and plain bottles for total cholesterol and total protein determination. Plasma and serum were isolated from the oxalated blood and clotted blood respectively by centrifugation at 2000g for 15 minutes using bench top centrifuge (MSE, Minor, England). Plasma glucose was determined by glucose oxidase method , total protein was estimated by Biuret method  and total cholesterol was determined in accordance with the method described by Trinder  and modified by Richmond  using reagent kits from Randox Laboratories, United Kingdom. Haematological parameters were determined as in a standard haematology textbook .
Data were analysed for mean and standard deviation. Statistical significance was determined by students't-test and p vale less than 0.05 was considered significant.
The animals in the treatment groups consumed more feeds than those in the control group.
Values are mean body weight ± s.d of two separate readings from five rats. Values not significantly different (p > 0.05) from control
Supplementation with raw spice mixture of curry, garlic and ginger has no significant effect on body weight although there were slight weight losses in the treatment groups when compared with the control (Table 1).
Similarly, supplementation at all levels had no significant effect on the haematological parameters (PCV, Hb and WBC), although there seems to be slight decreases in these parameters (Table 2).
Although the spices mixture had no significant effect on serum glucose and total cholesterol at 1% w/w, it however exerted significantly (p < 0.05), both hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effect at 2% w/w of the supplement beyond which there was significant increases in both mean plasma glucose and serum total cholesterol (Table 3). However, serum protein was not significantly affected at all levels of supplementation (p > 0.05).
Few available data has shown the potential effects of spice mixture. Sugawara and Suzuki  in a study to evaluate the effect of spice mixture of cumin, coriander and red pepper has demonstrated that bacteria metabolism in the serum is affected by spice mixture. Also, it has been shown that
Ugwuja, E. I. Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Ebonyi State University, P.M.B 053, Abakaliki, Nigeria. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +2347035122010.